In Praise of the Incongruent

Identifying with ideas on the very right or the very left of the political spectrum have become rampant. Sometimes I feel I’m listening to a script, provided in advance.

Similarly, people seem to have “opinions” which reflect wider social movements rather than more careful contemplation, manifested in such statements as “women make better leaders”, or, “diversity makes organizations stronger” or ” immigration is bad”.

In such a context, incongruity appears to me more of a value than a drawback. Holding incongruent views may indicate that someone is actually thinking, as opposed to parroting, or towing the party line.

Anyone who reads good biographers learns that many people have very incongruent aspects of their personality. Churchill, MLK, Gandhi, de Gaulle, LBJ, Mother Teresa. Their incongruousness are not contradictions, but rather when well explained, serve as a platform for the whole person.

I have held many incongruent stances in my life: I favoured the imposition of the French language on English citizens of Quebec, I believe that many of the core values of my profession are what holds it back from becoming more relevant, I believe that some countries would have been better off today had they been colonized at some point. I supported a two state solution yet also supported extremely harsh revenge for attacks carried out against Israeli civilians.

Far too often, I know what someone is going to say, based on what they have said before on different topics. Not only is it boring, but it shows up the ideology as opposed to the pragmatism/wisdom of the person. Life to me is like French grammar-a few rules and a million exceptions.

So, next time you hear something unexpected or an answer such as “it depends”…you may not want to jump to being overly judgemental.

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Some of the teachers that I remember from way back when

I wish I had one thousandth of the descriptive ability of Somerset Maugham so that I could do real justice to some of the teachers I had during grade school (1-7) and high school (8-11).

If only Willie could get his hands on Miss Chesnie (Mildred) for example, who taught history in grade 9. It is hard to decide what was her most salient characteristic: her Scottish accent or her dyed red hair.  Often only a few people understood what Miss Chesnie was actually talking about; after class was dismissed, we would try to understand what was our homework lesson. “Make notes on the Cro-Magnon man” was what she said, explained Howard.

In an attempt to knock French into our dumb skulls, we all had so many French lessons that we all should have turned out fluent Francophones. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Monsieur Langlois was sure that the best way of teaching French was to talk only French in class-and as a result, we often understood next to zero. As new technology crept in, we were all put in a French lab, where ¾ of the time, the equipment malfunctioned or we wasted time conjugating verbs. Our French teachers were supposed to monitor us in the lab, but I remember seeing one of them outside in the snow, smoking. Luckily, an affair with Denise T (whom I met skiing) taught me all the French I ever needed.

Now one of our English teachers threatened us that if we did not do our reading assignment, “I will cut off your arms and beat your over the head with the wet end”. Later this poor chap had a nervous breakdown-and I will not, out of respect, mention his name.

For some reason, all the boys were taught metal work. My Dad assured me it would come in handy. The only thing I remember about Mr. Alcock, the metal work teacher, was that he claimed that the “Beverly Shears” is a “great piece of equipment”. Alcock also insisted we call him “sir”.

On the other hand, Mr. Snow, the woodwork teacher, focused on quality.  “Do you call that smooth?”, he said as he passed around checking the ashtrays we were making. My Dad told me that “for a kid with two left hands, that’s not bad” when I finally brought something home.

Grade 6 was probably the first year that I was introduced into what is called today Diversity. Our home room teacher was a born-again Christian named Ms. Pert, who insisted that we sing “we are climbing Jacob’s ladder, soldiers of the cross”. Now some of the Jewish kids in the class felt uncomfortable with that, although I didn’t. However, I did not feel ok with any prayer with ended with “thru Jesus Christ our Lord”. Pert would watch like a hawk to see who avoided these words.

During high school, Don Coolbrooke taught us Latin, English and History. Apparently, he was a jack-of-all trades. It is impossible to invent a more boring teacher than Mr. Coolbrooke. In retrospect, he could have been a great anesthesiologist. He had more quirks than Mr. Monk. After school, Wifey would pick him up in a green Pontiac-with a huge dog in the back seat. I remember hearing her say, “hurry up and get in; I’m freezing my ass off”. I shared that information the next day.

Of all the useless things I learnt in school, “technical drawing” beat it all, hands down. Mr. Stacey, a tall, cool, calm and collected guy tried to inculcate us with how to draw and use a slide ruler. I was never very good at that, and I asked my Dad for help. “We did not have that shit in my day”, said Dad smoking away at his Export A and doing his crossword puzzle.

Miss Williamson, the grand librarian of Winston Churchill High, knew me very well. When I walked into the library, she would say “I have something for you”. And she always did.

It was only in McGill when I started to love learning, and as I aged, I loved to learn more and more. However, I am grateful to all those who taught me. They must have done something right.

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How to manage people who are buck-passing and deflecting problems to some one else

Boss to Fred: Why haven’t you made deadlines? Fred to Boss: I’m still waiting for Mary’s input. Fred to Mary: You told me that after your trip to Chile, I would get your input. Mary to Fred: Finance did not sign off on my trip to Chile.

Interactions like the above are common. And unsynchronized communication in different time zones coupled with too many emails with cc’s and bcc’s have made buck passing and dodging into fine art. Simple issues that can be solved with the drop of a hat can take up to 80 or 90 emails to sort out.

There are several ways in which buck-passing and dodging can be mitigated, but they all have a price. Which reminds me that I recently took a trip to Namibia; I was advised to take anti-malaria pills with many possible side effects. Although I was reticent of these side effects, I was told, “Shevat, you don’t want to get malaria”. On the same note, I suggest to all my clients to deal with buck passing with a heavy hand because it can easily lend itself to everything getting stuck.

This having been said, here is the “prescription” for dealing with buck-passing.

1 Don’t put too much focus on roles and responsibilities. There is always lots of role overlap and complexity cannot be defined away. Focus on fostering cooperation, not on boundary clarity between roles.

2) For important issues, use WhatsApp ad hoc task groups to ensure that cc’s and bcc’s are avoided.

3) Hold meetings as soon as you notice buck passing. Lots of nonsense has been written about how wasteful meetings are, but there is no better way to nail down how things get done.

4) Call out buck passing. If organizations were to give buck passing 1/10th of the focus that is given to sexual harassment, buck passing could become far less prevalent.

5) Don’t optimize sub-systems; optimize mutual accommodation. In simple English, don’t play departments’ goals against one another, rather encourage them to achieve a shared goal.









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Buses then and now

It all started in Montreal

I have loved buses all my life. Although I have owned a car since 1973, I take buses in Tel Aviv even on hot and rainy days to prevent the impossible task of finding parking.

My fascination about buses started in Montreal. I loved to hear drivers calling out the station names in English and French. “St James Street; rue St Jacques”. “Rue de la Montagne; Mountain Street”. Even streets with the same name were called out in both languages, like Guy. “Gee; Guy”.

Drivers were exceptionally polite and waited for passengers to sit down. Often, drivers smoked and held their fag outside the bus.

The following sign was posted near the driver in English and French: Safe Driving requires my full attention. Please do not talk to me”. However I used to sit near the driver to see how he handled payment so skillfully, answered questions, and used the clutch. It was also a very good opportunity to listen to French, a language which you cannot learn just in school.

I left Montreal in the 60’s-and each time I have visited since I took a bus. Sadly, no one from my family lives in Montreal anymore. I do not think I will ever take a bus in Montreal again. But I remember each of the four buses I took to McGill University; the 116 or 118, 17, 65 and 4.

I remember once studying a map of all bus routes in Montreal. Once I asked my grandmother to call the bus company to ask which lines were the shortest and longest. She obliged.

Bye bye Montreal.!

 1968 Israeli Egged and Dan Buses

“Blistering hot” does not clarify the heat on the rear of the bus where passengers board until they pay, after which the conductor lets them pass forward a seat or at least a comfortable place to stand.

The conductor has a button which activates the closing of the rear doors-but after he presses the button, the doors quiver and shake until they slam close, and often a leg or an arm forces the doors to reopen.

With everyone aboard-the conductor rings a bell and the bus lurches forward. Tickets cost 17 agorot (equivalent today to about 5 cents); upon paying you get a ticket but sweaty hands often obliterate it,

Every hour on the hour the driver opens the news and the bus falls quiet. “All planes returned to their bases safely” or bad news, or worse.

Drivers and conductors wore sandals, T shirts and shorts. Talk among passengers was frequent, especially after a new cast.

In Tel Aviv, the bus company was called Dan, because Tel Aviv is the centre of the Dan area. Outside Tel Aviv, all bus drivers owned a share in the bus company, which was (and still is) called “Egged”, band-aid, because it held the state together (Egged is pronounced eh-ged.)

Driving for Egged and Dan was an elite job which paid very well. My late wife’s mother wanted her to marry a “haver egged’ (egged shareholder) so that she would have financial security.

Buses were in very poor repair and very noisy. But like the state itself, they worked, no matter what. The availability public transportation in Israel has always been excellent, with all its frailties.


2024: Cool, Digital and Alienated

Drivers wear uniforms. They are not all as formal as the uniforms on the CTM (Montreal Transport Commission) but standard shirts nevertheless. Many are protected from the public by protective glass.

Buses are modern and air-conditioned. Conductors don’t exist. They have been replaced by “rav kav”, prepaid cards like Octopus Card in Hong Kong or the Nol Card in Dubai. No payment is made on the bus; a rav kav is swiped on a scanner or  by swiping  a barcode via cellphone when entering…or pretend to scan. Often, older passengers haven’t figured out how the system works, and their cards have not been charged. Drivers don’t care. They drive.

Tourists are often at a loss how to pay. Explanations are hard to come by.

Everyone, including the driver, is yakking or texting on the cellphone. All the time. No one talks to anyone.

Station names are displayed in 3 languages (Hebrew, Arabic and English) on an electric sign board. “The next station is Truman”. “The next station is Allenby”. “The next station is “Balfour”.

Drivers no longer are shareholders. They come from all walks of Israeli society: Arab men and women; new immigrants from Ukraine or Ethiopia; Jewish men and women. Many drive like that are transporting cattle; some are extremely polite and even funny.

One driver on the 567 line asks passengers questions like: “would you like to stop for a coffee”? or “did your grandchildren call you today”? Or, “who are you talking to”? Or, “good morning, professor-don’t be late for class”.

And finally, a story about technology and Israeli buses. The 23 line is a minibus, because it passes thru narrow streets. On the 23, you often hear the following announcement: “some people on this bus have not paid; please swipe your cards to avoid fines”. I asked the driver “what’s the story; we are only 3 passengers and we all paid” “More useless technology” was the reply, in an Amhari accent.


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Loving Namibia

The fact that I don’t suffer from allergies or post nasal drip in Namibia is not the main reason I loved Namibia.

I am returning to Namibia again this year, but not because of the pleasant 9 hour flight with an overnight stay in Addis, Ethiopia.

I generally do not eat liver and potatoes for breakfast-yet I plan to revisit Namibia again and again.

I can speak nary a word of German; yet I will return to Southern Namibia asap.

Namibia is a breathtakingly beautiful, majestic, grand, and dignified country with kind people from fascinatingly diverse cultures. That is why I will return.


1-Parking in Namibia

On the surface level, parking in Namibia is simple. There is ample space, to say the least and we found parking at every venue we ventured to within seconds, even on “Main Street”.

However, car theft in Namibia is rampant. Unlike South Africa where you can get robbed whilst waiting at a red light, the Namibians want your car, not your money or your life. There is crime in Namibia, but not violent crime. Violent crime is almost non-existent in Namibia. But car theft is rampant.

Enter the informal guard system, which I am about to describe.

Within nano seconds of parking your car, a lad appears offering (offah) a proposal: “I can take care (caya) of your car sir. No need to worry. It’s safe safe”. The lad then hovers around the car and disappears, often stepping across the street, into an alley or vanishing into thin air.

Upon returning to the car, the parking boy is there, waiting for you. “You see, safe safe”. At which point you are expected to provide between 20 and 30 Namibian dollars…75 cents to a dollar. Not including VAT, which is, lucky for all, not collected.

This is a win-win system. The car remains safe; the parking boy gets money and does only good, and the tourists and locals do not fear car theft.

I want to emphasize that anytime and everywhere you park, this system exists, except within game lodges which have guards of their own.

And in a sense, I felt that my car was much safer than in one of our own automatic parking lots with their barcodes, automatic gates and high prices.


2-Two Airports

Ben Gurion airport is full of technology that does not work. Passport machines which are supposed to scan your passport should work, but don’t. Not yet. It takes about 4-5 attempts to get it right. Then the “get out of the airport ticket” is so small, you can easily lose it-with no recourse. Staff are all busy on their telephones. Customs men are dozing at their posts, or spying for imported cell phones bought abroad. To get a taxi, you need to scan a poster to get a barcode, and people over 50 are frustrated because they don’t know how to scan. There are only 4 scanning posters. Getting a taxi takes 45 minutes.

Windhoek airport is small, quaint and cosy. “Antiquated” is a good word, unless, like me, you like things the way they used to before digitalization. 

E-tickets and boarding passes must be printed out because there are no scanners. 

Between the terminal and the plane, there are no buses…when you take off/land, you walk to the plane, with fire trucks or maintenance trucks often honking at the startled and jet lagged passengers.

The health regulations are not enforced; my yellow vaccine (exemption) was not checked even though I had been in Addis for 26 hours. There are 6 gates, one meter away from each other-a gate is merely a door. Staff is polite but things are slow. Very very very slow. 

Two airports; two worlds.

3-A Simpler Place in Time

In the middle of the wilderness on the way to Sandwich Bay, two tourist guides met one another going in opposite directions; they chatted in Afrikaans and in Ovambo. They pinched each others’ cheek, laughed, and parted. 

At an ATM in Windhoek, a guard told me to wait until I had secured the money that I had withdrawn into my money belt before leaving the cash dispenser.

A waitress in Uis explained to me which tribes in Uis intermarry and which don’t; well, almost don’t. And a white Namibian explains to me why Namibia and South Africa are so different.

A bartender and I joke when I order a non alcoholic Windhoek 0 beer after I tell him I am too young to drink. 

I ran out of money to tip someone who had served us supper. I left the restaurant and changed a 50 Euro note and returned to give her a tip, 20 minutes later. She was so embarrassed-and thanked me profusely.

All of the above interactions have one thing in common: all the people were gentle. Soft voices, calm demeanor, and a silky softness. That’s my impression of Namibians-rich and poor; black and white; north and south. Kind gentle people.

Which is not true of the country’s landscapes. The country is rugged, wild and hard to navigate, with sizzling hot days and frozen nights, brutal roads and god-forsaken towns, such as Rietoog

My impression of the gentleness of the Namibians serves them well. They are kind to one another, kind to tourists and are uninvolved in world affairs. As Gladys Knight sang, “a simpler place in time”

4-Signing your name and feeding the bureaucratic beast

And it came to pass that in the middle of nowhere, or perhaps beyond, we heard a noise that indicated that we had a flat tire. Which proved wrong. We had a decimated tire. Enter exhibit A.

Since there was no signal on our mobile phones and no internet, we tried ourselves to change the tyre which proved to be quite a challenge. The spare was attached to the bottom of the car; it proved impossible to release. Nor could we unscrew the bolts from the tyre.

Half an hour later, 3 Frenchmen drove by. My French proved very useful in enlisting their help. However, one hours’ work only managed to loosen two bolts. Add another hour, and two Namibians stop to help us. Like Canadians who shovel snow from birth, or Singaporeans who can run in the heat, Namibians know how to change tires since flats happen as a matter of course.

One hour later, we were on our way with generous gifts having been bestowed on Namibian and French alike.

When we finally got a phone signal two hours later, the rental company said that we should get the spare replaced at xxxxxx? “What did you say, can you spell that?” 

Get the tire changed at Sesrium. “Where”? Near Soussevlei? “What did you say, Sesrim or Soussassomethingorother?”

5 hours later, we arrived at the tire shop.

A call was made by the tire shop to Windhoek and they agreed to pay for a replaced tire. We were asked to sign an authorization form.

Then, a spare tire was chosen. A second call was placed to Windhoek and the spare tire was approved. We were asked to sign a second form of agreement to accept the new tire.

Work was completed, and we were asked to sign a third form-oking that the work had been completed with our approval.

Shit happens but people can have kind hearts when faced with difficult situations, and signing your name to feed the bureaucratic beast is just minor collateral damage.

5-Filling up with petrol in Namibia

To the extent that you think a visit to the petrol station is a 3 minute affair, a visit to Namibia will open your eyes to new vistas.

All drivers regardless of ethnicity or type of car are beckoned to come enter all the various pumps… all at once. Each pump has “wavers” doing elaborate and exaggerated motions apparently to make you feel welcome. The wavers will have a story unto themselves.

Each pump has 2 or 3 boys or girls who fill up the tank to the very very very very very top…nary a gram remains for more petrol. This process of topping up can take up to ten minutes because of various conversations going on. Windows are scrubbed two to ten times, often by several people. 

When the tank is full… someone will accompany you inside to pay.

The line to pay can be very long or longer. Often up to 20 minutes. Subsequently someone else escorts you to your car. 

The many attendants get 10 to 20 Namibia dollars each, or a bottle of water.

If you don’t have change, all you do is explain that you don’t have change. 

I always had change. 

Often the people at the pump will speak to you in perfect English with a German accent… Which i found very interesting.

I always struck up a conversation and cracked jokes…. Which caused laughter but no increase in the amount of time invested. 

Petrol stations are few and far between so we wisely stopped at all stations we saw.

Almost all stations have tyre repair service, thank heavens as we were to learn. But that’s another story.

And visiting Namibia also entails learning and learning to love a labour intensive country.

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OD is also about NOT changing

Somehow and somewhere along the line, Organization Development became linked to change and changing. Of course there is nothing wrong with this at all; facilitating change is a major pillar of our profession.

But not the only pillar. In organizations (as is the case in everyday life), there is often a need to adapt, accept a given context  and/or boundary conditions, and not change. I shall provide a few examples.

If the average shelf time of a material engineer in your industry is 2 years before he (or even she) leaves a company and moves on to another company, it is very unlikely that one company can fight this trend, whatever means they take. The best strategy would be to adapt and expect the same thing to happen in your firm.

If one of fifty purchasing agents is on the take, and you have 150 purchasing agents, you probably need to assume you have not bucked the trend even if you comb new recruits with a fine tooth comb.

When working with a 30 year old as opposed to working with a 60 year old, the degree of the need for an “adapt” strategy is like to go up as age increases.

If most of your clients are willing to accept a “great” product’s temporary bugs, a Japanese client probably will not-despite your belief that the quality of your technology can diminish the Japanese attention to perfection.

OD professionals tend to optimism and “yes we can”. And that is not a bad thing. But it can be awfully naive. Furthermore, lots of reorganizations (a very common change) are merely shoveling the shit from one corner to another-ie, much ado about nothing

You owe it to your clients to help understand what cannot be changed. My guess is that the willingness of the consultant to do so is related to the culture of consultant, with “yes we can” “roaders” being far more willing to fantasize about changing the world.


Perhaps some people believe that if your neighbour wants to kill you, the best thing to do is sign a piece of paper and make peace. Personally, I think it’s best to believe my neighbour’s stated intentions, and “rise and kill first”. But that’s an aside.











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At the post office

In 3 weeks I am attending a conference in the Emirates. Payment for this particular conference is made by money transfer, since there is a glitch that does not enable folks to register via the web.

Like many things in Israel, doing something simple is often difficult. Western Union (money transfers) has several agents, but no parking within 100 miles; luckily it also operates out of the post office. The Israeli post office. Remember that Israel used to be Ottoman, then mandated British and then Israeli. The post office is a remnant of the Turks, except for the British looking postbox.

I arrived at the post office at 8.00 and I was the first the enter. No one else entered during this whole saga, which took 40 minutes. Hagar (f) was drinking tea and chatting with a colleague. “Do you have an appointment”, she barked. Never the diplomat I said, “can I draw the madame’s attention that the entire establishment is empty”. 

“Go the machine a get a number and request the appropriate service”. I returned after having chosen “fund transfer”.

“That’s incorrect-the service you need is foreign currency. Go back again”.

“No; I want to speak to the manager”. “He comes in at ten”. 

Me: And that is obvious. וכך זה נראה.

The seminar and hotel come to $1900. The post office clerk told me that I need cash, in Israeli currency. “What is the exchange rate”. “Am I a bank?”, she replied. “We are a money transfer service “affiliated” to WU.”

She sent me off to the ATM at the nearest bank, some ordeal because I am recovering from (my third) virus this winter. I returned and she said “take another appointment from the machine”. There was still not a soul besides me and the staff in the post office.

Now this would not be in an OD blog were it not for the security guard told me when I left. “You know Dr, she gets paid per number of clients she serves in a day. That is monitored by the appointment software.”











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5 basics about organizations that don’t change

If you read enough posts on social media and/or professional journals about organizational change, the impression of massive constant change is ubiquitous. Change appears to be constant, fast and furious and if you don’t adapt you to be left behind in a cloud of dust.

Which may be true, but equally may not be true. Because there are certain elements in organizational life which do not change.

 In this post, I want to point out 5 constants of organizational life which do not change, “or bends with the remover to remove. O no,  (they are) an ever-fixèd mark. That looks on tempests and is never shaken” (Sonnet 116-Shakespeare)

  • When people work together in physical proximity, the probability for trust to severely break down is less than if people work in different geographies. Yes, people in the same physical location often have trust issues, but people who work remote from one another always have chronic trust issues, and they are very difficult to manage. Each geographical site has hidden agendas that impact all interaction.
  • Hiring good people at a fair price is far more effective than hiring mediocre people at a better price; training cannot bridge the gap of mediocrity.
  • AI is a fad. It will cause “some” change, but it is not the game changer it is made out to be. Like TQM, MBO and JIT, AI has come in with a lot of noise; it will not change the basic operating system of organizing.
  • If you want to change culture, do things differently. You cannot change culture by talking-only by doing. And it takes a long time. After things are done differently, people will report a cultural change in a year or even longer.
  • There are no mergers; just acquisitions. It is a Darwinian process in which a stronger organization digests another. Taking the best from both cultures to form a new one is total nonsense that never ever happens. Never.
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Consulting a very stubborn manager

I got a hand written “thank you” note from a consultant whose work I supervise once a month. She is a very critical thinker, tough on herself and tough on me, so the note of thanks was appreciated all the more.

I have been helping her on how to consult with very stubborn managers; managers who have a fixed idea and stick to it in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

When I look back and examine what I have said, it comes down to the following basic ideas.

  • The stubbornness of a manager is his problem, not yours. “When a cancer patient dies, it’s not the fault of the oncologist” is a sentence I may have said a hundred times.
  • Try to identify the secondary gain that the manager gains by being stubborn. For example, if he refuses to acknowledge that the goals he sets are unreal, what are his gains for not doing so. (Like preventing an argument in January with the Board instead of slipping up in November).
  • Try to work around the issue, not taking it in directly. For example, if he has that “I will not add one more software engineer to R&D”, look for ways to add software engineers in Service.
  • Boxers often plan to take on a beating in the first few rounds until their opponent gets tired. Managers often stick to an idea just to buy time. Is your manager showing any signs of this tactic?
  • Perhaps try to examine if your manager’s ideas stem from his (or even her) ideology. If they are part of an ideology (such as I will not hire people without a BSc), then probably you’d better back off. Ideologies die hard if at all.
  • Very stubborn people will sometimes be willing to suffer and allow others to suffer so as not to show weakness. So, ask yourself if the manager you are working with can feel safe enough with you to change his mind or even her mind.

Now I remember a story that an Egyptian colleague told me.  A rich man hires a shepherd to take care of his flock. One morning the shepherd tells the rich man that a wolf is threatening the goats, and he had best fence them in. “There are no wolves in this area”, says the rich man. Next day, same story. And so on and so forth for nine days. On day ten, the shepherd comes to the rich man and says, “I am sure glad these goats are yours and not mine”.

One of the smartest managers I ever worked with had a sign on his wall, “in the end, I’m the boss. Do what I tell you”. Next to that sign, he had a boxing glove.


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Targeted OD interventions

Targeted OD interventions are aimed at solving specific problems without subjecting the entire organization to what is nowadays sadly seen as a long, tedious and unnecessary process.

Examples of a targeted process may include include improving the functioning of a certain department, mitigating turnover of a certain skill level of software engineer, or improving the process flow and overall effectiveness of onboarding.

A main challenge of targeted interventions is that they do no treat all the issues at hand. For example, if people are leaving 6 months after they join a company, if is doubtful that a targeted intervention to mitigate this will address the “deep state” issues which encourage this turnover.

Another challenge of targeting interventions is that they are often owned by Training and Development, which have the least political clout that any other function except perhaps the reception clerk, be it a he or a she.

And of course, targeted interventions which solve some problems create others, which are not solved. So the diaper is still dirty, it’s just worn by someone else. For example, new recruits are better paid, but the union now starts licking up a fuss for ” the new folks pushing in  front of everyone else” and starts blackballing the new recruits.

Finally targeted interventions are often carried out by OD consultants who are not yet skilled enough to do system interventions, so they get the bread crumbs. Happy to get any job that comes their way, they sell lots of cheap hours and bungle up the job.

Targeted interventions are not going away. So here a few things you can do to make sure that you get your bang for the buck.

1 Define and redefine the mandate of the intervention over a course of several months so that you are not stuck with an initial incorrect scope of work. Ensure that the contract signed supports this flexibility.

2 Hire a consultant who is over-qualified. He (or even she) will work less hours and not fear telling you what really needs to be done.

3 Targeted OD interventions need strong ownership; if Training and Development  owns it- it ain’t gonna work.











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