Organisation Development is seen to be humanistic, democratic and progressive.
It is argued that it helps people to be their best in the workplace. This is seen to support the organisation to enhance its effectiveness through those people.
But, for us, all is not as it appears. OD has changed the workplace, perhaps improved it. However, it leaves unchanged and unchallenged what lies beneath this, particularly in a capitalist society where business efficiency is paramount.
One of the key aspects of organisational life that OD rarely acknowledges (and may, in its work, actively suppress) is the question of power. Neither does it actively consider how it serves particular agenda and reproduces existing workplace relations.
All of which means that a space needs to be opened up where OD can be usefully critiqued – and, at the same time, a new way of doing OD can be imagined and explored in practice.
We aim to offer the opportunity to undertake that dual task through cooperative inquiry, fresh thinking and investigating new ways of doing OD.