What are some of the basic components of a new Operating System for OD

Minahan and Norlin in their recent article “Edging Toward the Center” (OD Practitioner: Vol 45: 4, 2013) suggest a move away from the extremities of OD which may have been applicable in the past in the happier days of OD and suggest that OD should migrate to the centre, i.e., towards bringing more value to clients without abandoning OD’s core values.

I suggested in my critique of that article that this is “too little too late” because OD has been almost “voted off the island”; I also suggested we needed a new Operating System for OD, not a bug fix or service pack.

The goal of this post is to suggest some initial basic components for this new Operating System:

1) Provide a culturally-agnostic, contingency based platform which enable people with very different values and communication styles to work effectively in a global organizational configuration, in a spirit of inclusion and cooperation.

2)  Drive cross cultural organizational literacy, so people from different cultures can understand the different view of organizational life.

3) Develop global leadership/followership capabilities across acutely diverse cultural divides, which factor in value and behavioural  preferences of  all major cultural constituencies. (By acutely diverse, I do not mean merely a colour or food preference divide)

4) Create an accepted mediation paradigm for clashes between different styles and behavioural preferences in order to enable rapid and adaptive behaviour.

5) Foster massive trust building and relationship building techniques to gap-fill for the limitations of virtuality and to compensate for the hidden agendas of global organizing.

6) Create a set of agreed upon code of ethics to mitigate negative organizational politics stemming from global organizing, especially but not only “control agendas.”

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