Monday, May 2, 2011

Transforming Barriers - ODP Journal Article

This month's peer reviewed Organization Development Practitioner Journal features my latest article. The culmination of year's of research and practice, the featured article includes a full-length case study using the new RITE Model. Two of this articles critical contributions include: 1) A practical roadmap to navigate the hidden curriculum of work; and 2) A system of transforming everyday organizational barriers into pathways for sustained learning and performance. The RITE Model is effective because it works simultaneously in both of these directions. It resolves barriers while also enhancing the capacity for change. Implementing the RITE Model consistently over time will allow managers to pitch the external consultant and coach your own team to new levels of learning and performance success that impact the bottom line.

Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:

Whether their position of influence is internal or external, Organization Development practitioners are tasked with resolving a wide range of issues that threaten individual, team, and organizational success. Sometimes these issues are referred to as gaps or obstacles, or they can be alluded to in more creative terms like breakdowns, and blind spots. Whatever form they come in, collectively I call these impediments to the quality and outcome of work barriers to workplace learning and performance .

When left unresolved, barriers can take a considerable toll on the workplace at three fundamental levels, including:

• 1st Order Impacts on Workers may cause individuals to lose focus, disengage from their work and the greater organization, avoid or disabuse priorities, exhaust motivation, cause physical and psychological discomfort through stress, and reduce accuracy and quality of performance;

• 2nd Order Impacts on Work Teams can debilitate patterns of communication, prevent effective decision-making, reduce collaboration, erode morale, distract from priorities, and undermine the collective potential of team members to positively impact the organization; and

• 3rd Order Impacts on the Workplace will divert values, disrupt effective structures of interaction, reduce overall productivity, increase absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover, adversely impact the strategic implementation of goals, and more.

Considering these summary examples of the compounding affects of unresolved barriers, the mandate to comprehensively address barriers across the organizational spectrum is considerable. One of the strengths of the Organization Development field is the diversity of practice traditions that contribute an array of processes and interventions that can identify barriers such as these.

Successfully identifying barriers, however, is only one part of a larger process of resolving them. As the nature of work continues to evolve, Organization Development practitioners increasingly intervene in unstructured circumstances that require dynamic tools and resources to quickly and effectively assist clients in the full resolution of their organizational issues.

The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed description and case example of the RITE Model, a unique system of transforming individual and team barriers into pathways for sustained learning and performance. The remainder of this introduction summarizes two key concepts that form the foundation of the model.

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