In the Crucible

Some of the changes we go through in life are subtle, like hair gradually turning gray. Other changes are like a crucible: a situation where the heat is turned way up. A trial where we are severely tested. From which we emerge different, hopefully stronger and wiser.

One example: the many workers that have lost their jobs due to downsizing, who are now "in transition," and are looking for their next gigs.

Where will they land? Back in corporate roles? In smaller companies, such as start-ups? In completely different jobs, such as teaching? In non-profits? Perhaps some will go into consulting. Or start their own small businesses. And some will go back to school to re-skill and re-invent themselves on a new career path.

Whatever the outcome, all of these individuals are now striving in the crucible of change.

They will emerge different, but how? Will they have greater self-awareness? Will they be smarter? Will they grow in wisdom? Will they be more caring toward others? Will they be stronger in the face of adversity?

For Organization Development practitioners, this is opportunity, since what OD is all about is Change. Transition. Resilience. Learning. Adaptability.

We OD practitioners have a lot to offer to those who are in the crucible. We should be focusing on ways that we can support the strengthening of these critical capabilities as people experience the crucible.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, June 4, 2009


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