Remembering the Father of Organizational Learning

51pf1Ybod6L._SY300_Chris Argyris passed away last month, at the age of 90.  This Harvard Business School professor earned 14 honorary doctorates, produced 30 books, and published over 150 articles.  Anyone in the field of Human Resources should know of this man’s contributions to the field of understanding, as the frame a foundation for improving human performance.

Think about this.  We make decisions every day.  We go through a process to do so.  Argyris defined this process as the “ladder of inference.”  He pointed out that we often skip steps in the thinking process, for example starting with assumptions rather than real data.  Starting with assumptions, not only eliminates gathering facts, but also looking at the context surrounding the facts, and then interpreting the facts within the context. (more…)

What is Organization Development?

That’s a rhetorical question, but one intended to set the stage for a bigger question. What the heck is happening to the Human Resource Development side of Human Resources?

white_dice_custom_11721The Human Resource Management (HRM) side of Human Resources is pretty buttoned-up. SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) has defined the discipline succinctly, has established an infrastructure of learning and knowledge and a representation of the employer in legislative affairs, and elevated the profile of Human Resources. Yes, I realize that HR is being increasingly called to task for not adding value to organizations, but there is an answer that is staring us in the face – the other side of HR – Human Resources Development (HRD). (more…)

Anatomy of a Business Decision

org chartI have been following a petition on change.org about a local healthcare system.  The organization recently announced that they were reducing the shift differential for night shift workers, and because this was eliminating many “grandfathered” agreements, some nurses would experience an annual pay reduction in the five figures.

Twelve days later, there are over 3,500 signers of the petition, along with some extremely nasty comments aimed at the executives who apparently have not experienced the same reduction in pay.  The CEO is a nurse, and many of the comments are bashing her for forgetting who she is, and making decisions for “business” only. (more…)