January 2016


From the President: 

I am here to announce that the theme for PNODN in 2016 is … CHANGE.

Bear with me if your reaction to this declaration is puzzlement, given that OD has always been about change.  Let me start with the observations of a recent report *,

“Capitalism is in the midst of an epochal transformation from its previous industrial model to a new one based on creativity and knowledge. In place of the natural resources and large-scale industries that powered the growth of industrial capitalism, the growth of creative capitalism turns on knowledge, innovation, and talent.”

This is not news, of course. But as we look around, we see organizations and individuals – and nations and communities – straining under the impact of unprecedented change.  What is new is that the quantitative increase in the amount and rate of change has produced a qualitative difference in the nature of change.

Thus, we as OD professionals need to rethink what we do and how we do it. Your PNODN Board is committed to creating learning experiences this year that engage, provoke, and enable you to rethink and revitalize your practice. Because in a changing world, bring about productive change and increasing our organizations’ capacity to deal with change is more important than ever.

Buckle up for an exciting ride.

Dr. William “Bud” Wurtz
2016 PNODN President





Member Update

PNODN would like to warmly welcome the following new & renewing members: 


Karen S.         



 We thank them for their support of PNODN and invite you to join us as well. 








January Meeting Quick Preview:  OD Change Strategy for 2016: Live Your Passion and Grow Your Business





Are you living your passion?

·      Are you providing solutions to your client’s problems?

·      We will explore what it takes for you to go to the next level for you.

·      We will explore building trust by exploring powerful questions.

·      We will look at some tools that will help you with your clients.

·      We will help you develop an action plan to help you reach your goals for 2016

Join us on Monday, January 25th to explore this with Dr. Carol Turner. 






Case Study


Savy Slips, Learning on the Run
By Philip S. Heller

Learnings from Practice 13: Appreciative Questions for Interpersonal Conflict

How to encourage the valuing of different perspectives and contributions in a positive way?

The Request. A Director of small division requested help in reestablishing trust with a valued direct report staff person. The Director had not followed through on work that was promised and was inaccessible to the staff person who needed decisions made on a planning project they were responsible for. The staff person was angry and frustrated with their supervisor, the Director. The Director wanted to reconcile his professional relationship with the staff person.

Larger Context. The lack of follow-through had happened slowly over 6 months. The staff finally confronted the Director that he was seriously impeding progress with a project plan that the staff member was responsible for. The Director realized he had created a problem for himself and wished to regain the trust and collaboration he had had once before. The Director felt guilty that a relationship issue with his significant other was spilling over into his professional life.
Consulting Intervention. We started with individual discussions with both parties to understand their unique perspectives and prepare them for dialogue. We decided that there would be three conversations that would build on each other in sequence and based on a series of questions (1).

First, we asked them to understand each other’s view of their current and past patterns of communication and trust. Even at this first meeting, we asked them how they might build on past effective communications they had had. For example, we asked them to explain to each other the filters/lens(feelings, beliefs, goals) that they use when communicating with each other and how that serves each of them and their relationship.

Second, they discussed how they might define incremental improvements that would signal positive movement and bring out the best in each of them. These improvements would serve as tangible proof that each could use to validate improvement.

Third, we asked them to plan together, in detail, how they individually and collaboratively could create a partnership to complete the project plan. We asked them to speak to the importance of the plan to themselves and others and to review their roles given what is left to complete.
This intervention generally follows the Venting, Owning, Planning (VOP) Model for helping others work through a difficult interpersonal issue. (2)

Last Line. Appreciative questions help folks in conflict understand what their contribution is and what they might need to learn to consider alternative views and options. (3)

(1) To access the questions we used, go to: http://learningdesigna.com/resourcescategory/conflict-resolution/ and select Appreciative Questions for Constructive Interpersonal Dialogue.
(2) For a process description of the VOP model, go to http://learningdesigna.com/resourcescategory/conflict-resolution/ and select Venting Owning Planning.
(3) For an excellent theory and practical questions for a dialogic approach to conflict, see: Managing Conflict in a Negotiated World, Peter Kellett, Diana Dalton, Sage Publications, 2001

Philip Heller is a senior associate of Learning Design Associates. For 35 years he has helped plan systems change and develop leaders in government, community agencies, and health care centers. Philip received his Ph.D. in Education focusing on learning and problem solving. As part of the originating group, he has been a PNODN member since 1982.

© 2016 Philip S. Heller, Savy Slips, Learning on the Run 13. Appreciative Questions for Interpersonal Conflict                                              







Of Interest

2016 NW Diversity Learning Series

ISDI will continue providing the morning half-day sessions for employees, managers and Diversity Champions on emerging issues that can be adapted to the work environment.  The topics will be framed around the practice of inclusion and provide participants with concepts, tools, and activities that strengthen understanding and learning at the individual and group levels.   More details can be found here.                    




Thank you to our Sponsor - adaQuest.  We appreciate your support.




Our Administrator is: Ann M. Baus 


The Editor of the newsletter is David C. Wigglesworth 



From The Editor

This is your newsletter and we welcome and encourage your contributions. They could include personal news of a professional achievement, a brief article of interest, a short book review, a case study, a cartoon, a joke that is OD relevant and/or anything else that might be of interest to your colleagues who are our readers. I thank you in advance.






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