Category: Organization Development

Negative Synergy & Conflict in Teams & Organizations A few months ago, I was working with five faculty members of a university sociology department. They were having difficulty getting along with each other. There were lots of conflicts and negative judgments were abundant. I interviewed each one. They were all well-intentioned, bright people with excellent knowledge of group sociology. Regardless, as a group they … Read More

Seven Areas for Changing an Organization’s Culture

Changing the culture of an organization or the norms of a team is not easy. Any organization’s culture not only resist change, but seduce those who would change the culture into behaving in accord with the current one. Here are seven focal areas of organization and group life that will make a difference. They are… Focus Area Change Strategy     1. Goals and … Read More Seven Areas for Changing an Organization’s Culture

The Secret Sauce for Making Teams Work

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead She was pissed! As the new leader of a perennial best-company-to-work-for, she was watching their industry-leader reputation continuing to slip away. Her executive team was a mess. Half were new folks she had brought in over the past 18 … Read More The Secret Sauce for Making Teams Work

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An Outline for Systemic Strategic Planning

A good strategic plan serves as the focal point for how an organization manages itself and business as it moves toward both long and short-range success. It provides… Direction for aligning an organization’s staff and activities Criteria for organizational decision-making. All decisions should support some portion of the plan. Too many strategic plans, however, languish in desk drawers never to be implemented. Avoid such … Read More An Outline for Systemic Strategic Planning

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A Practical Definition of Organization Development: Revised

Not too long ago I was having dinner with a client in the midst of a project that was going well. At some point my client looked up at me and said, “I’m glad you’re not one of those OD people.” After recovering from my surprise, we had a good discussion about what OD is and isn’t. Here is a summary of that discussion.