Last week I traveled to the National Organization Development Network (ODN) 2014 Conference, held in Philadelphia. The ODN is celebrating 50 years this year. As I sat in sessions and engaged in discussions with folks like Barbara Bunker, Warner Burke, Judith Katz, Fred Miller, David Sibbet, Dave Jamieson, Dick Axlerod, John Vogelsand, and Matt Minahan, I was reminded of the article “On the Shoulders of Giants” by Alban and Scherer (2005). They wrote, “In our work as OD practitioners, whose shoulders are we standing on? Whose ‘conceptual DNA’ runs in our veins? What are our operating assumptions and where did they come from?”
These folks have been some of the thought leaders in the organization development (OD) field for decades, they studied and worked with the founders of OD. I have read many of their articles and books. I was especially fortunate to attend Marv Weisbord and Sandra Janoff’s pre-conference session on “Lead More, Control Less,” (pictured above). They are the founders of the Future Search methodology and very wise indeed. It was a privilege to spend time with all these OD leaders as a colleague and life-long learner!