29 / 10 / 2014 12.01am
By Alison Germain
#Blogtober Day: Wednesday 29 October
Simon Barnes writes in ’The Bad Birdwatcher's Companion’, the art of bird watching begins with just looking. This strikes a chord with me. It reminds me of Daniel Goleman’s plea for us to work on our emotional intelligence by just noticing. It also made me think of mindfulness, or being present, which we hear more about as it makes its presence known in organisations across the country. It got me thinking about the art of OD.
We love to debate what is OD? We might read job descriptions with words such as transformation and intervention and systemic. These words have connotations for me of consultancy and project management charts, data analytics, and work streams. So what do I say when people ask “What do you do?” I have recently decided I aim to make stuff better and the way I begin to make stuff better is by just looking… by noticing.
Recently I was sitting watching birds on the river. There were seagulls, mallards and a tufted duck. Simon Barnes explains that tufted ducks take food from a deeper part of the river than mallards. This way there is enough food to go round. An example of nature's connected system.
Organisations can be seen in a similar way. By just noticing we may see each of the component parts and how they fit together. These parts could be structural, process, and people dynamics for example.
Once we have this information, we can choose what we do with it. We could give feedback, to highlight our observations. We could reflect on the observations and begin to formulate an initiative than can help an organisation move forwards, to make it better.
Central to all of this is us. Ourselves. How do we choose to show up when we go to work everyday? How do we choose to spend our time when we are at work? What do we choose to do with the information we have?
We don't always need a change programme and a budget to make things better. We can choose our actions every day. We can all Do OD. I recommend looking up the next time you walk outside, and see if you can notice some real live tweets.
After starting out in generalist HR with Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust, Ali has worked in media and tech industry for the past 13 years. Creativity and curiosity are Ali’s key drivers and she is passionate about working with others to ‘make things better’. Ali can be contacted via Twitter @AliGermain1 or email address.