Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

From the Heart

Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

From the Heart

Article excerpt


"People will not give you their hands until they can see your heart. "

John Maxwell

It struck me last week in a bracing moment of self-awareness (at approximately 2:00am) that most of the emails I've sent, voice mails I've left, and conversations I've had over the last few months have begun with the same two words-I'm sorry. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. I'm sorry that we can't find the article that you submitted over two years ago. I'm sorry that daddy can't play with you right now. I'm sorry...

I got up and looked in the mirror to see who this "sorry" person was and discovered the haggard reflection looking back was an older, grayer, and more tired version of me-a highly imperfect person who would give his left arm to have more hours in the day to meet necessary obligations, to be more proactive, to achieve what needs to be achieved, and to be able to serve and give back in more significant and meaningful ways.

It's a very frustrating way to go through life. It creates a terrible feeling in the pit of one's stomach that never quite seems to go away.

Ever see yourself in that same mirror?

As human beings in the 21st century, we are stretched professionally to produce more with less; we are pulled personally to be there for family and friends, for our places of worship, for our communities-and still somehow fit in maintenance and "down time" for ourselves. In short, we're often stretched so thin we feel utterly transparent. And, in addition, many of us also feel an obligation and calling to contribute and give back to our field of OD, outside of what we do directly for a living.

That's a lot to ask of the tired person looking back in the mirror. So, how do we accomplish all of this when we realize that "sorry" simply doesn't cut it? We reevaluate our priorities, eliminate the distractions that detract from our personal vision (and purpose), focus our resolve, and reach out and ask for help where we need it.

The primary purpose of the OD Institute has always been to help build the field of Organization Development into a profession and to create a worldwide network of OD professionals and OD groups to help realize that mission. For over 20 years, the OD Journal has existed as a global communication vehicle to provide a catalyst for dialogue and to "help guide the future of people working together." Making a small (but important) contribution to the journal and institute can increase our personal contributions exponentially by the significance of our global mission and the fact that 1 + 1 + 1 really can equal 1,000-especially when we realize that we all have a voice and a place.

We have an emerging and compelling vision for the OD Journal and for the OD Institute, and for what both can contribute to the OD profession. That we can't have it all the way we see it could be, right now, today - due to limited time and resources-makes us sorry. But sorry might only be the sour flipside of a vision not fully realized, and can act as a compelling call for change.

As we've mentioned previously-you are the sole reason that we exist. We are proud to serve you and realize how fortunate we are to be affiliated with a field that gives so much back to so many. But, in order to best serve your needs-we need your input. We could use your hands. And we hope to capture your hearts. Because we are a community (rather than a formal, structured organization) and volunteer our time to write, to edit, to publish and to participate-we will only be as good as we decide to be and act to be.

To that end, I am inviting you to look to your personal vision of what's important to you and what you might be able to contribute to the journal, and thereby the institute and profession. But only if it fits your vision. After all, we understand better than anyone that you're already stretched wafer thin.

If you have not been part of the ongoing dialogue, we encourage you to "jump-in" now. …

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