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 managing change may be particularly valuable for those organizations that need to harness the power of the Change Formula. Can OD help leaders to re-vision their future and begin to chart the steps forward?

Reconstruction - Our experience in designing organizations may be particularly valuable for those who are standing in the rubble, starting from scratch. Can OD facilitate the emergence of new ideas, and new teams?

I think the answer is Yes. I believe that OD is about building and sustaining healthy and productive workplaces. Positive, innovative workplaces. OD is about overcoming adversity and strengthening resilience. It's about adaptability and learning. We have much to offer to organizations that are rising from the ashes.

What do you think?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Feb 4, 2010

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