Articles

Download Our Free Articles Today and Discover Proven Ways to Achieve Positive Change in Your Organization.

When it comes to leading organizations, creating partnerships or building effective relationships, life can get complicated. Over the years, we’ve written several articles that offer suggestions on dealing with some of the common challenges you can face as a leader of an organization or as a professional dedicated to enhancing organizational effectiveness.

In these articles you’ll find valuable information that can help you to:

  • Redefine your organization following a period of upheaval and achieve enhanced performance.
  • Intervene in small ways to address issues and realize a big positive impact.
  • Enhance the success of your partnerships.
  • Attract Great Mentors.
  • Manage Geographically Dispersed Teams.
  • …and much, much more.

Just complete the form on this page and we’ll e-mail you links to our published articles, including the top 4 downloaded articles on the site! If you would like more information, we’ve provided a brief summary of each article below.

Article Summaries

    • Design School: Mastering OD Design Principles Outside the Guild Experience – makes the case that design thinking and masterful design skills are essential for the consultant attempting successful change and learning initiatives with small groups in organizations. The article explores the principles of design and the challenges to learning this core competency. Practical guidelines are provided that can assist both new and experienced practitioners. – makes the case that design thinking and masterful design skills are essential for the consultant attempting successful change and learning initiatives with small groups in organizations. The article explores the principles of design and the challenges to learning this core competency. Practical guidelines are provided that can assist both new and experienced practitioners.
    • Renewing Organizations In A Time of Change – Organizations today face changes that occur at an increasingly rapid pace. The effects of these changes alter the implicit contracts that organizations have with their members. When signs of stress and grief appear, leaders typically minimize them or impose management sanctions and discipline. However, creating a new contract with organizational renewal initiatives can lead directly to high performance.
      In this article, the authors propose an Organization Renewal Model. They outline a process for redefining the organization after change that includes the following steps: expectations, change in organization, loss of the contract, signs of stress and grief, management sanctions and discipline, organization renewal initiatives, and commitment to new contract. By recognizing these steps and acknowledging the loss, an organization has the potential to move beyond the loss to renewed optimism and high performance.
    • Making Housecalls: Whom Do Our Clients Expect To See When the Doorbell Rings? – As a consultant, you probably know the feeling. You’re sitting in a meeting with a key client, and you’re discussing the contract, or the results from your data gathering, or the next phase in your work together. It doesn’t matter. What’s unmistakably clear to you, though, is that your client is now seeing you in a certain way and is expecting things of you as a result, and that this perception is unspoken. You also know that this perception and these expectations are likely to make a difference in your work together. We think you’re on target, and we want to offer you a lens for understanding this common situation and some thoughts about how to deal with it.
    • An Inner Blueprint for Successful Partnership Development – “While intuitive ‘chemistry’ may provide a sound initial impulse, we propose that building a successful partnership is more predictable if conscious, disciplined, and intentional strategies are used from the very beginning.”
    • OD Book Review – Judy’s book review of Organization Development: A Practitioner’s Guide for OD and HR, authored by Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge and Linda Holbeche, has just been published in the OD Practitioner, the respected publication of the OD Network. Judy was delighted to discuss the book’s significant contribution to OD resources. Check out the 2012, Vol. 44, No. 3 issue. You can read it in our Articles’ section also.Attracting Great Mentors: Seven Strategies to Cultivate – “Recently, we discovered that both our lives have been deeply touched by many informal mentors—people who came into our lives informally, not as part of a formal mentoring program, and who provided generous guidance and support during our early years and through our careers. With growing excitement, we explored how we had come to be so fortunate and wondered whether we had developed, perhaps unknowingly, some strategies that drew these people to us.”
    • Facilitation 101: The Basics To Get You On Your Feet – Anyone who has ever facilitated a meeting has probably had a morning like this.  Between us, we’ve had about a thousand! And as indispensable as all of those things seem in that moment, the truly indispensable tools for facilitation can’t be seen or touched. They are the theories and concepts that underlie our work, a few of which we’ll review in this article.
    • A Small Intervention with a Big Impact – “What if I only had one intervention?”. In this piece, Judy discusses the value and impact of simply probing someone on whether they have expressed, shared or asked another about some feeling, concern, need or assumption they have. This intervention raises awareness, provides new choices and surfaces, often self-limiting, thinking for the recipient, opening up conversation about new possibilities and providing support for risking more complete communications with others. In sharing this intervention, she reminds us of an important responsibility of OD practitioners to help raise consciousness and provide choice.
    • Wise Leadership for Difficult Times – During these difficult economic times, more and more organizations are faced with the need to make hard decisions about financial and human resources. When the choice is to lay off staff or reduce their hours, it can have a devastating effect on people and the organizations they serve. We all have a friend, neighbor or family member who has been suffering these effects of the economic downturn.
    • Geographically Dispersed Teamwork – As a result of corporate acquisition, downsizing, merger, and globalization, more and more people are working on teams that are dispersed across town, across the country and around the world. No longer do team members have the luxury of sharing an office together and naturally developing a “sense of team.”
    • The Potent Pause: How Organizations and Individuals Learn From Experience – A “potent pause” provides an opportunity for learning. It can occur in action research, for the organization, and, in meditation, for the organizational consultant. This article explains the analogies between action research and meditation and why turning toward experiences and problems, rather than away from them, can teach us about them and ourselves and reduce the pain and difficulties that they might cause. It defines the ancient aspects of meditation: mindfulness, equanimity, insight, and purification, and relates them to the levels of understanding that consultants help clients to go through in trying to learn profound truths about their organizations. Finally, it describes the benefits of choiceless awareness rather than planning and the implications for individual consultants and organizations.