OD’s fate is “signed and sealed”

According to Jewish tradition, one’s fate is signed on New Year’s Day (Wednesday evening, Sept 24th) and one’s fate is sealed on the Day of Atonement, which falls the week after New Year’s. The days between the signing and the sealing of one’s fate are the Days of Awe, when supposedly the verdict can be overturned. (For those of us who resent having religion rammed down our throats, this is a punishing time to live in a semi-theocracy.)

However, while I am agnostic and I spend these “holy” days at the beach doing non-holy activities, the tradition and metaphor are useful.

OD’s fate is signed and sealed. There are many reasons why OD is rotting away. Follow this link if you want the gory details. The grisly execution of OD has been in progress for the decade. Unlike the executions we all see on TV as of late (which happen in my liberal neighbourhood), the dying process of OD is prolonged.

So what is there to atone about?

Well, universities and colleges and other institutes of learning are pumping out OD consultants as if the demand for OD is insatiable. This is an absurdity because there is very little work in OD for the new generation of OD “technicians”, unless they want to work for some canned-training company or support degenerative BPRs which are the very antithesis of OD.

Students spend years and years learning a disappearing profession which is self-destructing and being cannibalized. I must get 50 calls and emails a month asking me “if I need an assistant” or “where can I find some work, anything”. My message to these people is loud and clear-you chose the wrong profession. Go get retrained.

Yes there is plenty of work if you have been on the road as long as I have and have built up a reputation and areas of domain expertise (in my example global organizations, new product introduction and mergers). But there is almost nothing around for the newcomer, who wants to do OD the right way, not as an order taker for “3 workshops on people skills, medium rare”

And the universities need to atone for misleading thousands of people who have made the wrong career choice. Probably they cannot, because universities themselves are trapped in their own paralysing paradigm.

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7 thoughts on “OD’s fate is “signed and sealed”

  1. Unfortunately, this is so true. It is so difficult to carve out a niche in this industry. Atonement needs to comes from corporations who have commoditzed people. I agree that universities do a poor job. That said, for me, it hasn’t been a poor career choice as I have been able to carve out a very, very small niche and achieve fleeting results.

    Business has changed and not for the better. The bottom line rules all.

    Happy New Year. Health, justice and peace.


  2. I agree.
    It was a great choice for our generation.
    But its over for the new crowd unless they subjugate themselves to selling commodities to Cynthia Axe, as it were.
    Have a great year,

  3. As you well know, Allon, here’s nothing for the experienced grunt, either. 37 years in the field & Fri. will mark 6 years of unemployment.

  4. Hi Allon,
    Thank you for posting a great topic that has been debated for years! Your analogy of OD to the Holy Days and fate is unique and very interesting!! As we know, there’s a lot underneath the term “OD” and it can sometimes seem a bit abstract to those who have not been exposed to the knowledge, approaches, contributions, and practices.

    I believe that as long as there are people, teams, organizations and a need for them to live, collaborate, grow, change, and develop the work underneath the umbrella of OD will live on and evolve with all other functions and disciplines evolving through history and economic environments. My wish in these days is that OD’s fate is favorably signed, sealed, and positively delivered by many in the New Year as the economy inch-by-inch slowly picks up!!!
    A Bi Gezunt!

    Respectfully and with Best Regards,

  5. I’ve read a few of your posts recently and feel sad about your attitude and thinking. I don’t want to go thru a lot of details, but actually as much of what OD pursued for many years has been more or less adopted by many current management practices. Additionally, more “OD” is being practiced now by various roles (not directly called OD). More recently some of OD practice has moved more to complex, multi-stakeholder organization issues, enterprise strategic priorities and everyday old fashioned OD is being handle by others. In recent conversations with change management practitioners, their feeling is that their practice often uses both CM and OD and there are differences in the level, scope and purpose of each.

    If you were really in this field in the past and actually held the values, I would expect different thinking from you.

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