Should we be masters or slaves of OD tools? (Guest commentary)

By Edmond Mellina
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/27/2005

It is all too common to hear organizational development technocrats complain about a lack of respect and recognition from their internal clients. To add insult to injury, however, these OD specialists often find line management resisting the systems that they have developed. Performance management is a classic example. Most managers hate the process, complain it doesn’t deliver and say it’s too painful to use.

Before blaming line managers, OD technocrats should look into their own mindset by reflecting on a fundamental question: Should management be master or slave of tools?

OD professionals are not different from their counterparts in other support functions such as IT or finance. They are proud of the systems they design. As a result, they fall in love with their creations. This drives a mindset that says — albeit most often unconsciously — “you are the slave of my tools.”