What is the most important thing you have learned in this course? How do you feel about it?
Short answer: I want to continue with OD.
Long answer: I am in the middle of a career change (though not necessarily an employer change.) I’d heard a lot of things about organization development and I wanted to test the waters to see if this is work I would be interested in exploring. Before we hit the half-way point in this course, I knew that I really enjoyed the field of Organization Development.
I’m a fan of Paulo Freire and the discipline of popular education. Popular education raises the consciousness of its learners and allows them to become more aware of how their personal experiences are connected to something bigger. Popular education empowers us to make the changes needed. For me, the parallels with OD are obvious. OD empowers those in the system to make the change they are seeking. More often than not the knowledge we need to make the change already exists in the room, we just need it to come out and be heard.
I think the thing that I’ve liked the most is how I think about OD vs. Change Management. OD is my heart and change management is the brain. Often I just want to get things done (fixed.) Frequently that needs to happen, but it infrequently leads to long term culture change. That is why I know that OD is a better and harder path to follow.
As Paulo Freire said, “Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” It’s up to OD practitioners to actually facilitate the curiosity needed to uncover the knowledge to make organizations better.