OD : Can you see it, hear it, feel it?
As soon as a group of people start their conversations, as soon as they walk in a room together, as soon as they crack on with their work - you can see, hear, feel the way their work gets done.
Whether people are directly providing services or products, beavering away behind the scenes, or making strategic, corporate decisions, it doesn’t take long to recognise whether the core principles and practice of Organisation Development underpin their joint work.
It tends to look, sound and feel like this:
They treat each other as mortal humans, each with amazing potential alongside deep-seated fears They give caring, honest attention to each other’s thoughts and feelings They are careful to avoid assumptions about each other which get in the way of collaborative work They keep checking in with each other about what they are trying to achieve – and how they can do this even better They keep asking how things feel and seem for their customers, patients, clients, partners, colleagues They seek out and cherish different voices and views They avoid blaming ‘them’ or each other, understanding it is rarely that simple They make it safe to own and take responsibility for their actions and behaviour They strive to find ways for ‘us’ to be more effective than ‘me’ or ‘you’
Only certain people can make this a day-to-day reality in our teams, organisations and partnerships. And it is not OD specialists! It is the people doing joint work themselves, together.
OD ‘specialists’ can raise awareness, challenge norms, facilitate dialogue, enable confidence, support skills development, to name just a few. And in doing so, we can catalyse wonderful work!
However, the only people who can co-create effective, collaborative work is you with your colleagues - together, jointly and in partnership. My job is to do myself out of a job…..