Meetings With Remarkable People

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


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