What I Do

In my previous post, I wrote about quitting my job. As difficult as it is for me to quit, it is even more difficult to stay in a position where my interests and passions are not well-aligning with my opportunity to fulfill them. So what are those interests and passions?

IMG_0698My interest and passion is in helping people reach their full potential. How do I do that? Mostly through the field of “Organizational Development”. This subset of Human Resources goes a lot deeper than just training – a one-time event – and looks at the full experience of talent within your organization.

How do you find, attract, and on-board the right people? How do you get them up-to-speed quickly? How do you ensure that all of the processes, incentives, expectations, and tools align with the outcomes you expect from your people? How do you ensure they can perform at a high level? And how do you retain them, giving them new opportunities and the ability to advance? All of these fall under the “HR OD” umbrella.

IMG_0694At one level, my work still involves building and delivering workshops. I find myself in front of a conference room full of people, helping them make sense of different subjects and, most importantly, understanding how to apply those subjects in their day-to-day-work.

The workshop delivery itself is just a small part of my work. The more important part is looking at the underlying skills and capabilities people need and what those look like when applied in real life. “Communication” is a broad thing: what does effective communication look like when you are conducting a 9:00 am Monday sales meeting? By knowing this level of detail, I can design learning interventions that best help people build those skills and capabilities.

IMG_0696Ultimately, I find it very satisfying when I hear back from people weeks, months, and even years later, telling me that something I said, some way I explained things, helped make them more effective in their jobs. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing from some people I worked with 15 or 20 years ago – in the late 1990s! – who thanked me and shared what they learned from me.

That’s ultimately the most satisfying part of my work, and it is the reason that I am heading to a situation that I think will better allow me to achieve more of that.

13 thoughts on “What I Do

  1. Interesting to know more about what you do! In other words, you are somewhat like a coach, making sure the worker bees are motivated and up to par in performing or out-performing their duties. BTW, do you get to have yummy Thai treats and free coffee/drinks during your presentations?

    • In addition to helping companies design people and leadership development programs, I help facilitate those programs and also do executive coaching. As for the yummy treats, it depends on the client and who is doing the ordering.

  2. Your work sounds very rewarding if you can find an organization or management team who is willing to take advantage of someone who is an expert in OD. One challenge I’ve seen over the years are people who are promoted to managers of people who either do not have the proper skill set to get the best out of their employees or don’t want to do it. On the other hand it’s also sometimes hard to engage employees who don’t want to hear the company spiel. Tough job but I’m sure it feels satisfying at the end of the day!

    • Leading people is incredibly tough and people (and companies) do not always realize that it takes a special set of skills beyond whatever functional skills you have, to succeed as a leader.

  3. i remember the conversation we had in the bus back in bangkok. i hope the new job is the perfect fit for you and that you are enjoying it.

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