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John Shibley

For consultants

I became an Organizational Development consultant to try to stay out of trouble.  


I saw things in organizations that other people didn't seem to see, and when I talked about them, as I inevitably did, it was not always welcomed. The only people I saw with permission to tell the plain truth were in organizational development jobs.


It’s a challenging role. We must be deep in the organization, intimate with its inner workings and trusted by its senior people. At the same time, we must be professionally suspicious about the self-congratulatory buzz that characterizes every organization and skilled enough to say the truths we see. 


To do the job you need to be ready to risk it.


My therapist friends tell me it's like their jobs. Many of them get clinical supervision.  It’s a best practice in their field and a tradition going back over a century.  Their supervisors help them understand what they are seeing and come up with effective ways to respond. They also keep them honest when their involvements with their clients get so close it gets in the way of their truth telling.  


The organizational development profession doesn’t have that tradition.  The idea of regular supervision aimed toward developing our practice is unknown. 


Let’s change that.  


Let’s meet virtually to discuss what’s going on with your work, how you are being challenged, how you are being successful, and where you are getting stuck. I can bring nearly forty years of in-the-trenches experience to those meetings, and a practitioner’s appreciation for the theory end of organizational development and how it applies to the real world of real work. 


You can check my bio to see some of the organizations I’ve worked with. 


I’ve been very lucky. I’ve worked with some of the founders of the field, men mostly gone now. Search on their names if you want. Chris Argyris was my graduate advisor. I worked closely with Peter Senge for nearly a decade creating the Society for Organizational Learning. Ken Blanchard was my undergraduate advisor. I helped prepare Warren Bennis to present to orchestras - and yes, it was a strange as it sounds. And I paid my dues deep in the Total Quality movement, back in the last century, when organizational development enjoyed a golden era. 


Knowing our intellectual lineage is not just interesting. It saves time.  People who did this before us figured out a lot of stuff.  There is no need to reinvent those wheels. They’re good wheels. They work fine. We just need to figure out how to apply them to your situation.


My experience and knowledge is the foundation our supervision will rest on, but the point, always, is to find the best path forward, to find the next best moves and to learn from the last ones. 

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