As part of our endeavour to encourage a critical engagement with the contemporary workplace and with the practice of organisation development, we offer the following services. If you are interested in discussing any of these further, please use the contact form that appears at the bottom of this page.
If you are seeking to engage genuinely and authentically with the task of rethinking your organisation, we are able to provide advice and guidance to support you as you work through that examination – and to help you to design approaches that are best suited to the ambitions that you hold for the group of people with whom you work, the organisation where you reside, and the systems in which you find yourself.
We take the view that conversation is the crucial underpinning of organising. We are also mindful that many of the practices in organisational life, once given a title and built around articulated approaches, tend to inhibit meaningful human exchange. Activities such as coaching and mentoring, once graced with such a title and encumbered by “models”, can lead to those interactions ending up in an unnecessary tangle.
Instead, we offer the opportunity simply to have a professionally oriented conversation about organisational philosophy, alternative practices, and critical engagement to support you in the contexts in which you find yourself.
You are invited to schedule as many (or as few) of these sessions as you think might seem reasonable…but we will work flexibly to engage with you on your terms, supporting you to explore key concepts, offering up experiences and expertise, and encouraging you to reach unexpected conclusions, by nudging you outside of the commonsensical and common place notions that shape organisational thinking at this time.
Where people feel that we might add value by getting alongside them in the warp and weft of their organisations – and offer support in terms of helping them to achieve their ambitions in practice – we are happy to explore how we might co-design, co-develop and collectively deliver interventions that are consistent with the analysis and orientation of Radical OD.
On the one hand, we are in a position to undertake and support inquiry in organisational settings, in order to support the development of a richer understanding of circumstances and situations. But this is not “research”, something separate from our intimate immersion in day to day life in these contexts.
To that extent, we seek to help people to generate localised practice-based-evidence (in contrast to the increasingly fetishized notion of Evidence Based Practice) and thence to produce their own site- and context-specific ideas for moving forward. We steer people away from “off the shelf” solutions in favour of practices where they build their own tailored responses from their experience, understanding and expectations.
But the second element of our commitment to inquiry is through an ambition to build and sustain a Community of Interest that acts as an attractor to those who wish to look differently at organisational philosophy, their personal presence in these contexts, and their practice – particularly those who seek to support development in such settings. This is our Radical OD Network, open to all who feel such a space would give them the vital opportunity to think reflexively, enjoy stimulating exchange, and develop fresh thinking and approaches.
Reading Radical Organisation Development
Mark Cole’s book, entitled Radical Organisation Development (Routledge, 2020) provides the critical overview of where we find ourselves now in organisational life – and offers seven ways in which we might rethink how we are as human agents in these contexts. It is this which underpins our approach in terms of intervening in the workplace.
We also offer a series of seven 90-minute interactive practice workshops, which relate to the precepts outlined in the final chapter of the book. These events can either be directly commissioned with us – or are offered via Mark Cole’s Eventbrite page.
We are delighted to support students of business to explore alternative perspectives in regard to organisational philosophy and reflexive practice in the workplace. Our teaching brings a critical Foucauldian perspective to bear on the full range of organisational topics, such as management and leadership; workplace relations; and HR/OD practice, an umbrella term that embraces contestable ideas such as staff empowerment, flat structures, and corporate values and culture.
In academic year 2020-21, we have worked with Masters students at both the University of Sheffield and Roffey Park, offering provocative interpretations and fresh thinking on contemporary corporate life.
There is also a Radical OD YouTube channel, where we share occasional talks and presentations. For example, here is a (re)recording of a session delivered at 2020 ODNE Carnival of Disruption, which explores the topic of “liberating leadership”. Content discussed here will be published by Routledge in 2021 in a book which the co-authors – Mark Cole and John Higgins – hope will be entitled, Leadership unravelled: The faulty thinking behind modern management.