OD Superstars - Julia Petherbridge

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01 / 7 / 2014 9.34am

Our OD Superstar for June is the fabulous Julia Petherbridge, who is the OD and Leadership Consultant for Thames Valley Leadership Academy. Julia is currently co-leading our Developing the OD Workforce project group, who are looking at how to develop OD capability across the NHS. There's going to be some exciting work produced by this group and we're very grateful to Julia for her help in making it happen.

We'll share the work from the Developing the OD Workforce group when it's published for our July conference, but until then, here are Julia's answers to our OD Superstar questions:

1. How would you describe your role in the organisation?


My role in Thames Valley and Wessex Leadership Academy is as a OD and Leadership Consultant. Improving leadership results in better care for patients and ultimately saves lives. This is our underpinning belief and the basis for the strapline “Leadership for a purpose” that we have used consistently in Thames Valley and Wessex. My work involves driving organisational development and system leadership in the NHS regionally. I am responsible for designing and delivering a range of innovative programmes and interventions for leadership development, organisation and culture development, commissioned from a pool of nationally recognised providers.

2. What does OD mean to you?  

For me an OD system mindset is the ‘magic’ that makes a difference. Working in a systematic way aligning to strategic objectives, OD  enables the wisdom that exists at all levels of an organisation to surface enabling  staff to give their best and become thoroughly effective. Through OD we can support  NHS organisations to become ‘healthier’ ....healthier organisations means a healthier nation. Simples!

3. What OD projects are you most proud of? 

An innovative ‘Leading Whole Systems’ programme focused on transforming care for the Frail Elderly locally. It has taken a year of building relationships and engaging senior leaders to consider an innovative approach to develop transformational leadership whilst working on real-time issues. We have jointly commissioned the intervention with two CCGs, working with a cohort of 25 leaders drawn from across the health and social care world exploring how to create common purpose and a values driven ‘social movement’  that challenges the ‘top of the office’ to create a healthy climate for change.

4. What would you like to learn more about?  


Now that’s a difficult one.....the more I learn the more I realise how much more there is to learn! For starters I am keen to understand more about developing dynamic, complex systems from a relational approach. From my perspective our craft in the NHS is increasingly about System Development (SD) rather than OD.

5. Who inspires you most?

No one person inspires me.  I meet dedicated, passionate people on a daily basis who want to make a difference. They are a constant source of inspiration to me.  

6. What’s your one 'must read' book / article / website on OD?

The OD practitioner published by the OD Network.   

7. What would you like to achieve in 2014? 

The discipline of creating space to reflect and to be mindful on a regular basis.

8. What would your motto be? 

That was great...what’s next?!

9. What advice would you give to a budding OD professional? 

OD is a way of ‘being’ and will last a life time. Begin with work on yourself.

10. What is your favourite sandwich?

Without a doubt my favourite is goat's cheese, rocket and caramelised onion marmalade ...but it’s got to be with ciabatta bread!


If you have any questions about her work, then please feel free to connect with Julia on Twitter @JuliaPeth


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