I’m increasingly invested in bringing a larger, life perspective to people in the organization development community. I do this through regular work with community organizations and participation in a few odd grad programs around the country and world. This is a very generative stage of life for me and I love working with people who want to learn about my past while creating their future. I do a little corporate and government work, but not nearly as much as I used to. Add a little international work that takes me to new parts of the world and that about covers my professional life. Oh yes, there’s writing a book now and then. That’s when this introvert goes into hiding to discover what he is thinking about. Travel, and family, camping, hiking, and reading all show up in my life on a regular basis.
I can count on my annual visits to OSR to inform me of what new and aspiring professionals are thinking about. And, I can put that up against my experience and see what I know that is relevant to these 21st century consultants. I learn from their responses to what I tell them and engage them in. I’m encouraged by what I see! and, I’m usually on a mentoring council giving me a deeper look into one student. That’s a privilege!
I can think of a number of short stories that seem to fit a pattern related to my excitement about watching students I’ve worked with succeed in the world. Most leave OSR with their organizational idealism fed and their hopes high. The more common experience seems to be (I haven’t done the research) that they take their learning into an organization, often not in an odd position, and find ways to apply their perspective at work. And their perspective is often unique—which helps them get attention, good work, and success. They feel good telling their stories to me; I feel great to have been a small part of it.
I’ve lived around the country and worked around the world. After early work in systems analysis, business research, and human resources, I moved into the people and organization development business. If you were born after 1968, I was already doing this work! not very well, but I was doing it! yes, “o.d.” has been part of my life, has shaped my life, has fed my life for over forty years! Not bad for a guy with a graduate degree in international finance!