So who helped you get to where you are today?
Whose work had an influence on you?
On LinkedIn, a question was posed the other day, asking about the Role Models we encountered in our field, who had a positive impact on our formation as professionals in Organization Development.
When I think about my early evolution in OD, some "role models" (I add the quotation marks because, with the exception of Tannenbaum, Schein, Scott, and Hanna, I have never actually met these people; rather it has been through their writings that I have grown and changed) that had a formative impact on me include
Edgar Schein for culture, leadership, career anchors, process consultation, and humility
Bob Tannenbaum for his thinking on leadership…and for speaking with me early in my career
Herb Shepard for his tips for change agents
Warren Bennis for his work on leadership
Bill Dyer for his classic book on team building
Peter Block for consulting
Marv Weisbord for the value of getting the whole system into the room
Paul Watzlawick for orders of change
Karl Weick for sensemaking
Kurt Lewin for everything, especially Force Field analysis
William Bridges for managing change and transition
David Cooperider for appreciative inquiry
David Hanna for designing organizations for high performance
Bev Scott for "consulting on the inside" and the 3rd Act
Sr. Mary Benet McKinney for her book Sharing Wisdom that links decision making to discerning the Spirit
Margaret Wheatley for recognizing that people support what they help to create
Virginia Satir for the "foreign element" that destabilizes the status quo and the "transforming idea" thatpoints the way toward the new beginning
Monique and Jerry Sternin for Positive Deviance
Joseph George A for OD perspectives from India, especially the spiritual side of organizations
Roland Sullivan for exuberance and his insistence on transforming whole systems
Allon Shevat for OD perspectives from Israel, especially helping me see past my Western bias
John Scherer for his 5 powerful questions and "Go for Tov!"
And finally, for Richard Schmuck and Phillip Runkel for their OD Handbook, which I still refer to, over 35 years later.
Terrence Seamon, author of Change for the Better, is an Organization Development consultant specializing in leadership development, team building, and managing change. Follow him on twitter @tseamon