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  • Seeing Systems
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    Seeing Systems

  • Leading Systems

    Leading Systems

  • In The Middle

    In The Middle

  • The Possibilities of Organization

    The Possibilities of Organization

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    Space Work

« CCD (Connection Commonality Deficit) is murderous: Part I | Main | From the Holocaust to Counting Medals: Cheaply Earned Power »


Sue Brightman

As an OD consultant working with many organizations, I consider it my obligation to recommend models and interventions that will solve problems and make a practical difference in people's effectiveness. Whether my recommendation is from the Academic or Popular "nest", the client probably doesn't care ... nor do I! What matters is that it's based on solid, time-tested experience; that it holds true from one situation/culture/organization to another; and that it works. When I facilitate the Oshry Organization Workshop (as I did last month) and people tell me it caused a "eureka factor" for them, I know there's truth to the material. In my view, the world of academia needs to include material that will arm students with what works for organizations (their eventual clients) -- and that provides students with necessary fundamentals for their own knowledge. In my view, then, that would include Peter Block. And Barry Oshry.

Ilene Wasserman

Barry -- thank you for writing this. As you know I am a graduate of Fielding Graduate University. Given Fielding's commitment to the integration of scholarship or academics and practice, I think the work of the greats -- Peter, you, Marv Weisbord, and other people who work at the intersection and integration of great models and interventions grounded in solid theoretical underpinnings -- has been kept alive. In our practice, I have so valued not only the work of our mentors -- but the stories of the evolution of the work and their relationships has been critical to pass along. (I am sure you recall many a moment when I asked you to tell the ___ story again!)

I recent has a similar disorienting moment -- when I heard that someone had not heard of one of the grandparents of FGU. Hearing your Peter story on the heals of my recent encounter only further supports my commitment to keep these stories alive.

warmly, Ilene

Hilary Rowland

This is a subject very close to my heart. I don't think it matters where you are nested, but there is a real need for each party to listen and talk to each other. Practitioners have a lot to learn from academics and vice-versa. I am more generally horrified by practitioners who have no idea where their interventions come from as there are often quite different philosophical assumptions which underpin them and I don't think clients are best served by a bit of this and a bit of that. Academics tend not to be paid lots of money for their thoughts so perhaps it matters less what they think! What we offer clients does matter though.

zechariah aloysius hillyard

This is a price you pay for exploration. New ground (or ground that exists that simply has gone undiscovered or ignored) means that acceptance is not guaranteed. Even quantifiable, provable, and demonstrable evidence (Copernicus and his assertion that the Earth revolves around the Sun) have often been met with cynicism, violence, accusations of delusions of grandeur, imprisonment, internment, and interment (or threats thereof).

Please keep what doing what you are doing as you see fit. I think Mr. Block asserts that accountability means that we need to be prepared for this type of reaction.

Warm Regards,

Viki Hurst

I am so very grateful to the professor in my graduate program at the University of San Diego who introduced her classes to Margaret Wheatley, Peter Block and Marv Weisborg. At the time, I believe she was the only academic to put mainstream books on her reading lists, giving us all a much needed break from the dry expanses of theory and research (not that they aren't important).

Dick Hannasch

I've seen the blank look in my corporate workplace from training and OD professionals who haven't read much--or perhaps haven't read broadly!

Block and Oshry were two authors I encountered via grad school, and they've led to many others. Lave and Wenger, Reina & Reina, Frank Smith, to name just a few who have expanded my thinking and provided me practices, tools, and models that have helped me and others time and again.

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