“Dr. Bob, what do you do? What is this Organization Development anyway?”, asked Larry

Larry was a computer science engineer assigned to an Office Automation project with me at Imperial Oil Limited. Our challenge was to design a ‘Change Management’ process that would deliver improved performance and savings to the bottom-line. My role was the organization development consultant on the project making a behavioral science contribution to achieving the project objectives.

After working closely together for six months on the project, Larry came to me and said, “Bob, I now know what you do and how you do it!”

I was so surprised with what Larry came up, so simple, so accurate. I would like to share it with you.

ROBERT’S RULES ON PROCEDURE

This is what Larry called it from what he observed. He then proceeded to define and break the Robert’s Rules on Procedure into the following seven components:

  • Responsiveness- the ability to assess where the client is, and to respond in a manner that indicates a ‘willingness and desire’ to assist. Acts as a partner, accepting ownership for his contribution to defining and achieving objectives.
  • Understanding- brings a knowledge and experience base that adds value in creating meaningful options to both define and achieve desirable objectives.
  • Openness- the ability to be candid, open-minded, and responsive to evaluating options.
  • Trusting- reinforces, enhances an environment consisting of clear agreements and objectives coming from the leadership and supported throughout the organization. Creating a culture of mutual respect and appreciation. One that treats ‘mistakes’ as a learning opportunity rather than blaming.
  • Ownership- accepts responsibilities and accountabilities assigned. Encourages that behavior in others by clarifying expectations; positively recognizing and acknowledging others for their contributions. Addressing potential conflicts early for resolution.
  • Learning- initially and continuously bring a sense of inquiry and fostering the value of learning from our experiences and that of each other. Celebrating breakthroughs!
  • Organization development- focusing on the organization as an open, socio-technical system to be enhanced as an operating entity through clarity of vision and purpose, developing functionality on an individual, team, and organizational levels.

In summary, I found Larry’s framework very helpful in communication to others what I do as an OD Consultant. What is also very unique and clever about his seven components is that the first letter in each component when put together spells RUOTOLO!

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