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  • Writer's pictureCatriona Hudson

Monday Musings - 27th April 2020

'We are changing the way we work, we need to do more for less --- we need you to sort the culture out’.  Sound familiar? The phrase is usually followed by ‘yes put OD down as the lead for embedding the new culture’.  Is it only me who has a ‘blood runs cold’ feeling when that happens?

I must confess it used to really wind me up, I’d get so irritated by it and hear my inner voice yelling ‘oh ok so that’ll be ME sorting out YOUR culture – will completion by next Tuesday be ok for you – I’m sure I’ve a spare ‘excellence culture’ at the bottom of my handbag’ much inner seething and eye rolling would then ensue!

But I’m over that now!!!!

What I’ve learned is to take a leaf out of the great Abe Lincoln’s book who famously said ‘the best way to predict the future is to create it’

What right have I got to moan and besmear the fact that ‘they don’t get it’? Instead my colleagues and I have asked ourselves a serious ‘hold the mirror up’ question – the kind of question that makes you look like the young Simba in Lion King when he is about to get told off by his dad – heads lowered, shoulders hunched, eyes peeking through lashes.

Who is responsible for positioning OD? Who are we waiting for? Who is it that we expect to come out from the wings clutching an OD professional competency framework, CPD programme and ‘everyone gets it’ explanation of what we do and why/how we are the organisations awesome wierdo’s

Of course the answer is clear – it’s the responsibility of the profession itself.

It’s our time.

My colleagues and I are so clear, and passionate, about what we believe OD is here to be and do. We are clear about how we operate, where we should deploy our expertise and how we can/do add best value – but do all OD professionals think and act similarly to us? Probably not. And in there, my friends, lies the issue at the heart of us. A rag bag hotch potch of amazingly bright and talented folk doing our very best – but perhaps struggling to find our organisational ‘home’. The internal consultants who need to operate in a purely objective, professional ‘external’ way.

So, what have I done about it? Hmmm good question (strikes Simba pose number 2!) Well my colleagues and I have started the conversation and to be fair we have come up with ‘our’ model and approach to working in a ‘whole system’ way, which is working well and gathering some interest. But we are but 3 people and we recognise that we have an enormous community out there.

So – maybe – it’s time for our own OD social movement? Time to help ourselves in order to help others. If only so I never have to hear ‘Catriona you’re responsible for culture’ ever again!!!!


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