Tag Archives: OD

Cultures of Trust: Sources, Risks and Rewards. Join our #orgdna #globalchat on SAT 10.27.18 1-3pUTC

Those who delve into organizational culture are often overwhelmed by it’s complexity. It is the result of decades of behaviors, both good and bad, the sum product of what an organization thinks of itself.

Those who know trust know its deeply embedded in our healthy relationships, and absent from our dysfunctional ones.  It often provides the spark for collaboration, the genesis of effective teams.

Together, the evolution of trust and culture can spawn a dizzing array of outcomes.

Evolution is inspiring that way.

The had part is charting a course.  If we imagine of web of narrow but interconnected paths, we can follow the journeys that take us toward trust and culture.  These can lead us, with care and nourishment, to bonafide cultures of trust.  It is the end state of most enterprising CEO’s, and the holy grail of OD, or Organizational Development.

How do we get there from here?

In our Saturday 10.27.18 chat, we’ll discuss these evolutionary threads, with this outline:

  • Q1. Sources of Trust. How can leaders and staffers instill trust across on organization in real time, when trust is painstakingly built over time? Could any of S.M.R. Covey’s “Speed of Trust” principles help?
  • Q2. Sources of integrative Culture. Are leaders able to shape an integrative, trusting culture change directly, or must they wait for it to evolve over years and decades?
  • Q3. Alchemy of Simple Rules. What simple rules might help trust and culture evolve together, as the prevailing forces come in contact? Can any factors accelerate the chemical reaction?
  • Q4. Risks when Trust is pervasive. Does a bias for trust expose the organization to manipulation and foul play? How might leaders and staffers guard against this?
  • Q5. Cultures of Trust: the Rewards. What are the most lasting benefits in a culture of trust? How do we know we have built one? What will we see?

Lots to talk about here.  And like trust and culture, it will take time for the conversation to evolve.  Stay with us.  Its going to be a journey.

We’ll continue to unpack the #futureofwork through the lens of social complexity each month, now on most 3rd or 4th Saturdays, from 1-3pm UTC, i.e., 9-11am ET, 2-4pmUK.  Stop in at any point during the 2-hour conversation. Can’t make that time? Feel free to tweet thoughts/inputs/comments using hashtags #orgdna #globalchat, or post comments to this blog.

The next chat after 10.27 will be in the New Year.

It’s been a great exchange. We’re 6-years in, and gaining momentum. Transcripts of our conversations abound, elsewhere on this site. We hope you’ll join us.

See you online!

Chris Jones | @sourcepov | Charlotte NC

How does a twitter chat work?  It starts on Twitter. We recommend a streaming app like TweetDeck. Just append #orgdna to your tweets adding #orgdev #agile #agility #complexity and/or #futureofwork to specific tweets, as relevant. This expands the thread to others who might be interested. Sometimes we’ll chat in the #orgdna stream in real-time, like a flash mob, with insights just popping up.  But for the in-depth discussion, join us at the appointed hour on Twitter.

What is #orgdna?  It’s a self-selecting community of #orgdev thinkers, discussing collaborative aspects of the organization since 2012. 

What is a #globalchat?  This may be the first one.  Many challenges facing the modern organization are global in nature, or in impact. I’m hoping #orgdna can make #globalchat a more frequent and welcome exchange, with increasing scope of participation and value.

Do we have an agenda?  Yes, but it’s evolving as we learn. We’ve captured our key ideas and themes to date using Coggle, and our #orgdna roadmap is posted here (CC4-BY-SA). Have a look, and share your thoughts.


Edgar Schein: On the Evolution of OD, Leadership and Group Dynamics

Anyone who has spent time in the study or practice of Organizational Development knows something about Edgar Schein. He has been a central voice in this space for more than 5 decades, with books and papers that have advanced the field. He has helped to unpack what we mean by research and experimentation in the social sciences, and he has guided application of OD concepts through all aspects of teaching, mentoring and consulting.

What might we gain in looking back at his contributions?

The short answer: plenty.

Let’s use our April 17, 2017 #orgdna chat to unpack some of Edgar Schein’s most important and influential views:

  • Q1. Leadership: best defined as a role, not a position. Has Schein’s perspective received traction by CEO’s? Wall Street?
  • Q2. Culture: includes artifacts, values and assumptions; it’s encountered in layers. Which aspects are most fully realized in the practice of modern OD?
  • Q3. “The job of a leader is to create culture” -E.Schein. Agree/disagree?
  • Q4. Group vs. Individual Dynamics. Does a Western culture emphasizing individual achievement fight with a need for group/team learning?
  • Q5. OD Research vs. Practice. Fragmentation may be the enemy. Few B-schools have picked up the torch. Why?
  • Q6. What does Schein see ahead for OD?

The #orgdna chat community is continuing to unpack key trends in the 21st century practice of OD, from leadership to learning. In 2017 we are looking at ideas of key thought leaders. This year we have looked at Peter Block and Chris Argyris. In the past, we’ve looked at Margaret Wheatley, Peter Senge, and Donella Meadows.

The conversation continues. Let us know where else to direct our focus.

Meantime, join us MON 4/17 9pm EDT for our next #orgdna. We suggest a streaming app like TweetDeck. Just include #orgdna in your tweets, and we’ll see you online.

Chris (aka @sourcepov)

More on Edgar Schein? Try these resources:


Why Do Leaders Resist Change?

Our path to the present has seemed a steady march. Sure, we’ve taken detours and followed many courses. But from our factories to our business schools to Wall Street, the lessons are still loud and clear: a repeatable result, with minimal deviations, is the winning model.

Repeating what's worked, however imperfect

Repeating what’s worked, however imperfect

It’s generally true in manufacturing, when you’re making widgets. And it can work if the past holds all the secrets to our future success. There’s comfort in the formula. Within the long-stable walls of the organizations and brands and empires we’ve erected, we know which bricks need replacing.

But turning away from the familiar introduces new variables. The old rules are often irrelevant. Think about IBM. Microsoft. Kodak. When it comes to our mental models, significant change is the enemy. In our high-stakes, increasingly connected world, the risk of embracing change, or even talking about it, can send shivers down the spine of any executive who is held accountable for results. And that’s pretty much all of them. Risk of gambling on the wrong future looks greater than the risk of taking small steps from a proven though imperfect past.

We talk often on the “how” of change. But so often we assume the “why” is a given .. and go on to assume we have the critical change  mandate from the top.

Usually we don’t.

So amid the familiar chorus of embracing change for a sustainable future, it’s time to look at why that cry often falls on deaf ears.  Let’s look at the brick wall of uncertainty facing the modern executive, and ask:  Why do Leaders Resist Change?

Here are 4 questions to help us unpack the discussion:

  • Q1. Executive psychology typically presumes the need to have all the answers; how can we help leaders rethink that?
  • Q2. ‘Sense of urgency’ tops Kotter’s 8-step change agenda; must we wait for failure or concoct burning bridges to drive action?
  • Q3. ‘Group think’ can be fatal at the board level; how can this be attacked?
  • Q4. Organizational cultures can embrace or resist change, but the latter is most common; what cultural elements can drive adaptive behaviors?

Join us MONDAY 7/8 at 8pET for a discussion, the next in our 2013 series on collaborative leadership in the 21st Century. We’re unpacking the challenges one brick at a time ..

Hope to see you online .. or please, share your thoughts .. we’re hoping to extend the discussion blog-side (via comments, here), our G+ page and via twitter async ..

The @collabdna team


Learning to Learn: The Evolution of KM and OD; Can they work with Education to change the game?

DNA in the Evolution of KM and OD

DNA in the Evolution of KM and OD: Can we adapt to drive meaningful change?

As covered in my recent KM-OD post and discussed in my KM World 2012 W5 workshop, the modern organization needs every shred of productivity and innovation capacity it can muster. But buzz words and aphorisms abound in this space.

Can we actually make a meaningful difference?

I’ve found that traditional practices of Knowledge Management (KM) and Organization Development (OD) have struggled when it comes to getting people meaningfully engaged on the topic of learning. It can be an abstract discussion. Uncomfortable with ambiguity and not knowing, most of us quickly we turn to process manuals, documenting what we think we know, or running training classes.  For KM and OD to evolve .. for the modern organization to truly embark on learning how to learn .. we must change the approach.

And what role does organized Education play in all this?

I discuss some ideas for this in The DNA of Collaboration (Ch.19).  In today’s virtual Book Tour conversation, let’s discuss a few of the key points:

  • Q1. KM should help knowledge moves through organizations and generate value. Does this happen where you work?
  • Q2. Does an OD function in your organization exist? Does it help teach people to learn?
  • Q3. What are the synergies between KM and OD?
  • Q4. How can organized Education influence/guide this evolution?
  • Q5. Senge and Wheatley have said much on learning in the collaborative context. Is it still relevant?
  • Q6. New thinking about change (per Hagel): a shift from structure to flow, reflecting how we learn. Agree?

You can join the conversation via TweetChat here.

Note that Saturday is becoming our Global CDNA conversation, with N.Amercian (US & CN) CDNA conversations breaking out Monday evenings, moving to alternate weeks in January.

Intrigued?  Reach out, let me know your thoughts.

Chris Jones, aka @sourcepov, author