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Joan

By Joan
7

So long and farewell

This is my last semester after a 2.5-year journey through the MPS in Organization Development and Change program at Penn State. At every step of the way, the coursework has been immediately applicable to my client work, which made this a deeply satisfying graduate program. I am a far better consultant ...
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By Joan
6

Leadership is Theater

This week I’ve been thinking about the extent to which leadership is theater. Leading an organizational transformation requires dramatic interpretation of events and a great amount of storytelling for those following Kotter’s eight steps. To establish a sense of urgency, a leader needs to use her bully pulpit to get “the ...
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By Joan
7

50 shades of gray

Ethical dilemmas in consulting I’ve worked as a management consultant for about two decades. Through that time, I’ve experienced ethical conflicts that have challenged me as a professional and as a person who wants to make a positive contribution to the world. Values conflict As I’ve gotten older, it has become ...
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By Joan
7

Key Evaluation Planning Questions

Checklist Questions What needs to be achieved through the OD intervention? The laboratory needs to become self-sufficient and preserve capabilities necessary for national security and defense. The OD intervention, or rather series of interventions, will move the organization toward this ultimate goal. No doubt, this will be a multi-year process with ...
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By Joan
9

Quality is key to content marketing

Last year I was working with a business coach and he questioned the value of my putting time into updating my business blog. In his experience, there is little return on investment for content marketing published via a blog. He’s not wrong – there are so many examples of blogs that ...
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By Joan
6

Godspeed Bill Butcher!

The Tragedy of Unrealized Potential In 2015 a friend of mine invited me to take a road trip up to Wall, NJ to meet a friend of his named Bill Butcher. We drove up to a mansion in an exclusive neighborhood near the beach. We parked in the circular driveway, went ...
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By Joan
7

The Essential Role of Organization Diagnosis

Bill Gates, in his Annual Letter from the Gates Foundation (Gates, 2013), wrote, “I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition.” In this essay, Gates makes the case that measurement is critical to the change process for the simple reason that regular ...
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By Joan
6

Life, death, and family dynamics

Briefly explain how you might use process consultation in your personal life It is an excruciating time for my family. This week we are waiting to hear if my sister will be eligible for a heart transplant. Becky has been in cardiac ICU since October 24 and since then doctors have ...
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By Joan
8

The Anti-Expert

From your own experience, describe an occasion of consulting in which you acted as an expert. Did you solve the problem? Every client that engages my services does so with the expectation that they are hiring a particular kind of expertise so I can help them solve a particular problem, but ...
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By Joan
8

The Most Important Thing

What is the most important thing you have learned in this course (WFED 572)? How do you feel about it? It has been 30 years since I’ve taken a course that was graded. Probably the most important thing I learned in this course was that I was capable of doing the ...
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By Joan
11

Serving clients more knowledgeably

Last year my firm was hired to work as a “one-stop-operator” for one of Maryland’s regional workforce networks. The concept for a workforce network flows from federal legislation that compels Departments of Social Services, Labor Licensing and Regulation, Housing, Education, community colleges, and employment agencies to work as an integrated unit ...
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By Joan
7

My very first grad school blog post

How do you feel about change in organizational settings? Why do you feel as you do? I worked at an Army laboratory that experienced a series of accidents resulting in employee injury and equipment malfunction. After investigating these incidents and looking for patterns, leaders recognized that employees were sacrificing safety precautions ...
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