The Schar School of Policy and Government celebrates the 25th year anniversary of the Master’s in Organization Development and Knowledge Management (ODKM) program on Saturday, August 29, with a day-long, virtual learning community event called “25 Years— Looking Back, Looking Forward: Practical Skills for the OD Practitioner.”
The Zoom event begins at 10 a.m. EDT and concludes at 2:30 p.m. EDT. The event is open to the public but audience size is limited. Registration is required.
Celebrated thought-leader Peter Senge, author of the widely-acclaimed The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, will be the featured keynote speaker.
“Peter Senge is seen as the ‘learning organizations’ guru,” said Tojo Thatchenkery, founding director of the Master’s in Organization Development and Knowledge Management program. “He showed eloquently how to apply the systems perspective for organizational transformation… As a result of his work, organizations of all sorts- profit, nonprofit and governmental agencies, embraced the ideal of ‘learning organizations’ and sought to instill a new mindset for rethinking how we work and learn.”
Thatchenkery has seen the “OD” and “KM” fields change in the 25 years. For instance, Organization Development pivoted from problem solving to considering the organization in a more organic way. “With the beginning of ‘appreciative inquiry paradigm,’ which I was fortunate to be a part of, OD has transformed itself to focus on organizational wellbeing in addition to bringing about alignment between individual and organization goals and values.”
Knowledge Management similarly has evolved. “In addition to the transition to positive organization development, a recognition that knowledge sharing is equally important for sustainability and resilience of organizations has emerged during the last 15 years,” he said. “Ours is the only program that addresses this critical need of focusing on both OD and KM, as evidenced in the title of the degree.”
The keynote will be followed by six workshop options, split into two sessions, focusing on the sub-theme “The New Work Mode: What OD Can Do.” Notable organization development practitioners from around the globe will lead participants through new approaches across a wide range of social and organization change topics:
The Generative Change Model in Practice: Challenges and Possibilities
Gervase Bushe and Yabome Gilpin-Jackson will introduce the “Generative Change” model and describe challenges and possibilities of application inside organizations. The model has emerged out of research on Dialogic Organization Development, and provides a way to explain and guide emergent change processes.
The Creative Force of Resistance: A Gestalt Perspective for Organization Development Practitioners
Michael Randel will share approaches to creatively engage with resistance, a natural and inevitable part of any group process. Rather than seeing resistance as an obstacle, participants will learn to see opportunities to support people and promote the development of healthy, productive organizations.
Fostering Resilient Leadership and Inclusion Amid Crises
Ann C. Baker and Aurelio “P.J.” Rivera will take a close look at how to build resilient organizations that are diverse at every level and how to navigate the needed changes for today, while being poised for change.
Connecting for Social Justice: Tools for Anti-Human-Trafficking, Black Lives Matter and a Healthy Future
Carol Metzker, Fredda Maddox, and Jason Gonzales will share their experiences in creating social justice at a home for survivors of human trafficking.
Radical Transformational Leadership: A Paradigm Shift to Inspire Equity and Dignity for All Workers
Monica Sharma, Allison Guevara, and Cory Wofford help participants reimagine the next generation social movements, including “labor-management” movements in which “us vs. them” is transcended to create systemic and cultural change both in organizations and society.
The Making of the Global OD Practitioner: Lessons Learned from Distributed Knowledge Work
Matt Minahan, R. Sankar, Elita Walker, Laurence Smith will explore how organizations compete to thrive in a mature stage of globalization where work has become truly distributed. With traditional U.S-centric OD competencies inadequate for organization transformation in this era, the panel will share experiences and investigate the intersection of digital transformation and traditional OD.
Additional reporting by Buzz McClain, Schar School of Policy and Government.