Sunday, February 22, 2009

working on ODP

see ODP blog. The link is at the top of this blog.
All weekly posts are on my ODP blog....3/1/09

Sunday, February 8, 2009

PROactive & regular appraisal Dialogue

Conflict is inevitable within an organization. Instead of always being reactive to conflict, leadership can be proactive to anticipated small scale or large scale conflicts that may occur within on organization. For example, the incorporation of regular feedback to subordinates, colleagues, and superiors allows for stronger lines of communication to occur. However, the communication must be genuine and sincere. Chapter 12 of the on-line book focuses on a preventative mediation approach entitled, "Negotiated Performance Appraisal." Although a third non-biased party is recommended to be present and validate the overall appraisal experience, I do not feel that this person is necessary. Frankly, if the two primary parties have established a trusting relationship prior to the performance appraisal, there may be significant apprehension in disclosing personal thoughts and feelings in the environment. I believe the key to any performance appraisal is conducting it after regular on-going communication has already naturally occurred between a subordinate/superior.

Often leadership devotes more time responding to problems and correcting mistakes and minimal time rewarding and praising the behaviors that make the organization as strong as it may be.

How often do we take time to give carefully considered praise? I support the author's suggestion of incorporating "critical incidents" to add additional value to work performance praise. For example, referring to a specific example of a time when the employee participated in positive work performance.

I believe leaders must be proactive and intentionally create regular dialogue with employees in efforts of minimizing and/or providing a more welcoming environment to address conflict when it arises. In addition to dialogue between superior & subordinate, there needs to be opportunities created for appraisal and feedback for peers within an organization. This, too, will help facilitate conflict resolution in the event that it occurs.

Conflict is oftentimes viewed as a "problem," and in Organizational Diagnosis and organizational learning theory, conflict plays an integral role in determining whether organizational learning occurs. Regardless of the magnitude of a conflict/problem, learning does occur. Also, both real and perceived problems or conflicts have an impact on organizational learning.

I conclude with a question: Is the majority of conflict within an organization a result of intrapersonal conflict (e.g. between self and values/beliefs of self & organization) and ultimately surfaces in a tangible, identifiable way? Or is it interpersonal conflict with other individuals within the organization? So, self vs. organization or self vs. another individual. It is difficult to separate the people out of an organization, but it is important to recognize that the organization also takes on a "self" identity although it may be comprised of multiple individuals within it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


After reviewing the OBN presentation slides dedicated to the role wages and salaries [don't] play in individual productivity, motivation, and performance made me think to myself, "is that why the pay in education isn't that great?" Does the inequity within federal and state funding for education ironically support B. F. Skinner's view on pay?
Pay by the day or week [or month] is often mistakenly called reinforcement; its real function is to establish a standard of living from which the worker can be cut off

Apparently, OBM consultants would butt heads with OD consultants who conduct appreciative inquiry as a method of organizational intervention. There is a distinct difference in focusing on problems (OBM) versus affirming the "best of" what already exists within an organization (AI).

It’s important to understand WHY you want an intervention for your organization. As a leader, the impact of making consistent and genuine human connections with your staff compliments successful organization transformation-—more specifically, empowering employees to do/be their best, empowering them to change the system, and providing a clear vision to staff. Regardless of whether it's OBM, traditional action research methods, appreciative inquiry, the world cafe model, etc, ultimately, it is important to determine how and if your organization is open to be viewed in a new lens, change, adjust, and improve. What factors influence an organization's ability to be receptive to any form of intervention? As a researcher and potential organizational diagnosis consultant, what strategies and techniques do I use to be viewed as a person who will "do no harm" and have the "best of intentions" when critiquing their organization? OD integrates several qualitative research methods, e.g. ethnography, action research, participant observer, case study, etc. Perhaps OD is a compilation of the "best practices" of the most applicable research methods that fit into the organizational culture that is studied. It is our job as a researcher to determine what is "best."