The Northeast Ohio Organizational Development Connection (ODC) 

OD Connection – at the Center of Change
We are a leading OD professional development organization in Northeast Ohio promoting effective practices and philosophies. We offer practitioners, students, and interested parties opportunities to:
  • Create a learning community 
  • Advance their knowledge and skills
  • Network and support one another 
  • Share effective OD experiences.

We meet as often as somebody is willing to develop a program, at various locations.

OD Presence - Part II

A continuation of the Coffee Conversation on OD Presence that was facilitated on Saturday, February 16, by Sarah Spengler, an Organizational Effectiveness Specialist at the MetroHealth System. The original conversation focused on what is OD presence, what it meant to us, and whether a statement could be crafted to describe it.  The amount of participation and involvement generated during the February 16th coffee conversation about OD Presence suggested there was interest in furthering the discussion.

So, on March 14th, a few of us gathered at the Visible Voice Bookstore in Tremont.  This session was facilitated by Mary Ann Hogan, Organization and Employee Development Consultant at the Northeast Ohio Sewer District.

We concluded that OD Presence will be different based on each practitioner’s approach and skill set and the client’s expectations.  An OD practitioner must ensure that he/she knows his/her audience and that his/her “presence” is aligned to the client needs. 

Some key aspects of OD Presence include:
  • Allowing all voices to be heard
  • Not allowing intimidation to dominate or steer the work
  • Making a strong first impression (as with all aspects of life) is critically important to establishing presence
  • Gaining and maintaining control of the process dictates effectiveness of OD interventions
  • Creating a "safe place" for all will generate the most learning and produce better solutions
Why OD Presence is important:
  • Helps to facilitate the development of systems and processes
  • Creates a conscious awareness of what is - habits, systems, cultures - and identifies what could be
  • Integrates people with vision and purpose
  • Identifies value and defines what success could look like
  • Helps clients understand what they need and/or what might work best in a given situation
  • Provides opportunity for clients to break out of their roles, patterns, habits and cultures to see new or different approaches
  • Generates a process of discovery that allows for successive refinement
Suggested Reading:
  • “Gestalt Coaching” by Herb Stevenson (OD Practitioner, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2005)
  • “The Use of Self in OD Consulting:  What Matters is Presence” by Mary Ann Rainey Tolbert and Jonno Hanafin (The NTL Handbook on Organizational Development and Change, 2006, Chapter 4, Section 2.
  • "Standing in the Fire; Leading High Heat Meetings with Clarity, Calm, and Courage", by Larry Dressler

·         “Standing in the Fire” by Larry Dressler (book)

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