Discussion forum for members of the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group

Friday, November 17, 2006

How can OD practitioners better get their message out?

At our November 16 program meeting, Garry Berman of The Speech Improvement Company showed us how to achieve “Authentic and Effective Communication.” In some ways, this program followed up on our November 2005 meeting on “The Future of OD,” at which marketing and promoting OD and its practitioners were featured on our list “things OD must do”. Hence our Question of the Month: “How can OD practitioners better get their message out?”

Some related questions for this discussion: How can we promote more understanding of what OD can do? How can we individuals and as a group create more opportunities for the practice of OD? And what is our message?

Jim Murphy

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


What are your assumptions about actors and playwrights? Mine included the following:

- Actors audition for their parts & the best one gets the part
- Actors have some experience or training before they audition
- Actors know to read the play before they show up for meetings
- People who write plays are theatre people

Now imagine how I felt when I learned that none of these were true, and that I was to be the “director” of the ODLG Players’ production of Barry Oshry's play "What A Way To Make A Living” at our December 12 program meeting. "Deer in the headlights” might capture my first reaction. But that reaction lasted only a moment.

I am after all an accomplished OD practitioner and, if nothing else, I am fast on my feet! My innate curiosity and my enthusiasm for all things related to the theatre really helped me coach the actor out of each of the OD players. The facilitator in me helped build the teamwork needed to pull off a staged reading. And, of course, it helped that I believe in stealing ideas shamelessly --- I have a cousin who directs all the theatre productions at a local high school and loves to brainstorm.

To my delight, I found terrific talent and gusto in each player. I was thrilled to see our normally low-key, level headed OD practitioners discover and project sarcastic, loud, angry, pompous, depressed, robotic, and fearful voices they would never use in their jobs.

And I was not surprised at the casts’ creative ideas for handling tough situations such as missed cues even though they had no training in how to handle them. After all, they are OD professionals!

Barbara Bates

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Large Group Interventions

Terry Seamon, whose blog on OD and other topics has been mentioned here before, has posted some thoughts on when large group interventions are needed. Check it out at http://learningvoyager.blogspot.com/2006/10/large-scale-change.html and you can reply there and/or here!

Jim Murphy