Tuesday, March 10, 2009

my knowledge spiral....

Both project consultants provided insights that assisted the researcher in minimizing the focus on presenting solutions to the perceived problems within the observed organization. Instead, greater emphasis was placed on the acknowledgement of the systemic structures within the organization; in turn, the responsibility to create solutions and specific strategies to address observed areas of growth was placed in the hands of the observed organization. The expectation was placed on the organization to determine how it will move forward in consideration of the proposed organizational diagnosis presented by the researcher.

The ability to listen to the organizational development presentations of colleagues provided additional insights into the organizational diagnosis consultation process. First, it became very evident that there is significant power in utilizing a metaphor to communicate major concepts to an audience; however, it is important to make the metaphor relevant and understandable to the anticipated audience. Second, it is strongly recommended to explicitly communicate, both verbally and visually, the strengths and highlights of the organization under study. This aids in trust-building and establishing a strong, genuine rapport with the audience. Third, as an organizational development consultant who may be a member of the observed organization, it is important to not allow obvious organizational characteristics to be perceived as clear. As a consultant, my directive is to delve into the secondary and tertiary layers of an organization with the aim to develop questions that assist the organization in uncovering the underlying factors, values, or beliefs that will aid it in learning and moving in a positive direction. Lastly, organizational development does not focus on people—instead, it focuses on the structures and dynamics that lay within an organization. However, organizations are comprised of people and the delivery of an organizational development plan is an emotional process. Careful consideration must be taken into account with the humanistic element embedded within the delivery of a consultant’s organizational diagnosis and proposed plan for intervention.

A strong grasp of organizational learning theory and conceptual models assists consultants in the assessment and creation on an intervention that is unique to an organization and simultaneously grants power and authority to the organization in making a decision based on the resultant knowledge that was made along the organizational knowledge acquisition and learning processes. Experience, practice, and collegial feedback allow organizational development consultants to finesse the delivery and content of a proposed organizational development plan. I appreciated Dr. Patrick Faverty’s statement, “no leader takes anyone anywhere” (2009); ultimately, it is up to the members of an organization to determine where it goes.