Showing posts from February, 2010

How CEOs See Themselves

On the main OD Network listserv, someone shared an article from the NY Times where CEO Vineet Nayar talks about how he sees his role as the head of his company:

"If you see your job as the guy who is obsessed with enabling employees to create value, I think you will succeed."

What a great leadership philosophy. An OD team in his organization would be working for a CEO who "gets it."

Nayar acknowledges that other CEOs see themselves differently. Some think they are the Strategy Guy, or the Deal Maker Guy, or the Guy With All the Ideas.

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to support a number of chief executives. One, who I'll call "B," was CEO of a telecom company born in the 1980's following the break-up of Ma Bell. In the early years (roughly 1984 to 1993) of building the company, he and the other founders, senior leaders, and early employees put their personal stamp on it.

B was smart: he could smell and seize opportunity, based on his y…

CORE Training

What should be covered in a company's CORE training curriculum? My answer:

C - Communication, Continuous Improvement and Customer service skills

O - Ownership Thinking and how to improve Operating Processes & Systems

R - Relationship training for strong EQ in sales, management, interpersonal relations, and effective teams

E - Engaging & Empowering courses that teach employees to think and act like business persons

So, if you use CORE as your acrostic (or is it an acronym?), what would your ingredients be for the training in your organization?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Feb 23, 2010

Colloquium, Anyone?

My wife had a church music colloquium to attend in Washington D.C. a few days ago, and needing a driver, I had the pleasure of driving her there and back.

On the drive, she and her friend studied their homework --a difficult paper on the thinking of Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope) about the role and importance of music in liturgy, potentially a game-changing point-of-view for Directors of Music-- and we had a rollicking conversation about some of the words, such as musification, habilitation, and...colloquium.

Colloquium = a conference at which scholars or other experts present papers on, analyze, and discuss a specific topic. (From Latin: to speak together)

In this case, it was for the most experienced church music directors, and it was by-invitation only. A team selected the focal topic, and a moderator sent out the pre-work and facilitated the discussions. They gathered at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia, where they met, ate meals, and stayed overnight.

My wife enjoyed the meeting very…

Does OD Have a Role in the Recovery?

At the ODNet discussion list, there is a conversation going on about whether or not Organization Development can play a useful role in the economic recovery.

What do you think?

From where I sit, I believe we are still in the crisis. It's not over by a longshot.

So what do we, practitioners in the field of OD, do? Here's an analogy.

Just as helpers in disaster situations like Haiti or Katrina engage in Search, Rescue, Recovery, & Reconstruction, perhaps we can take a page and apply it to working with our clients.

Search - Our expertise in sense-making may be particularly valuable for organizations that are disoriented and groping their way toward some meaning and some balance. Can OD help them to find opportunity amidst the problems?

Rescue - Our expertise in coaching may be particularly valuable for those individuals and teams that desire to attain a high level of performance. Can OD step in and help motivate leaders to re-engage their workforces?

Recovery - Our expertise in man…

Dash! Do You Have It?

Years ago, in a Human Resources certification program that I completed, one of the professors told us the story of the OSS, the original "secret agents" who were dropped into enemy territory during World War II, their mission to blend in and gather intelligence.

You may be asking yourself, Why was this story part of an HR program? The answer: the selection angle.

~ How did the OSS select the best candidates for the job of spy?

Before you read further, ask yourself that question, and see if you can come up with the critical criteria. OK? Ready to read on?

One of the intangible but vitally necessary qualities, the OSS discovered, was something the Brits called "dash."

Dash: spirited action; élan; vigor in action or style: "The dancer performed with spirit and dash."

The agents that had this thing called dash were the most daring risk takers. The ones who sized up a situation, almost always with limited information, and took action.

Do you have dash?

While mulli…