Natural resistance to some of the concepts in global OD

At the ODN conference in London,  I have just presented a comprehensive outline of what are the limitations of traditional OD, what is the  essence of Global OD and what are the differences between them.

I have been inundated with feedback about my presentation; most of the feedback has been very good; some folks have naturally been resistant.

Here are the top 3 “push-backs” I am getting and my reply:

1-Truth cannot be subjugated to harmonious relationships. If a person lies, he lies.

Harmonious relationships are MORE “true” than factual accuracy in some cultures.  Factual accuracies are meaningless and “false” if the relationship does not remain harmonious at the face level.

2-Global OD is another profession-it betrays OD’s values, which cannot be compromised.

Many cruel things have done to thrust one’s values on another population. I suggest we don’t go there.

3-This all goes against what we were taught.

Not really. OD was born to promote tolerance. This is the next logical step as organizations have globalized.







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5 thoughts on “Natural resistance to some of the concepts in global OD

  1. A lie for purposes of saving face isn’t really a lie if under most circumstances both sides are well aware of the social convention. It’s a social convention.

    My guess is that if some research is done on this, there will be some areas where the saving face lie — aka white lie — is expected, but also some areas where a person is expected to tell the truth.

  2. Interesting thoughts and discussion. I respectfully disagree with regard to your last comments. Westerners are very well aware of the need for white lies, it’s simply the degree that may differ. How often do we tell people we havn’t seen in a long time, probably mostly true for women meeting women, that they look great? Or new parents that their babies are “sooo cute”, when they are not? Or tell the boss that we can’t stand the colour of her new coat? Or that he is a terrible supervisor? In Chinese culture you may be told that you look old, why, because age is not something to be afraid of. Most white lies are a matter of degree and grounded in diversity of cultures and values.

  3. Is truth relative? I did not think so. it may depend on the vantage point you start from. Are we talking about telling lies that remain lies or are we saying truth that may violate a bosses’ honour is done in private and not in public?.

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