The Alignment of OD and Design Thinking: Opportunities for Practice


Design thinking is a problem solving methodology popular across disciplines that has been embraced by management education and corporate America in recent years. It is widespread, with opportunities to learn the practice in workshops and classes all across the country in both accredited and continuing education programs.1 However, this methodology is not prevalent in the field of organization development (OD). Indeed, it hasn’t been integrated into educational programs targeting new OD practitioners. I find it perplexing that design thinking is not routinely employed by OD practitioners since I believe there to be great symmetries among original OD theories and design thinking principles. In this paper, I aim to demonstrate first that there is an alignment of principles and values among the design thinking methodology and traditional OD theories. Second, I argue that a design thinking methodology can bring something new to the practice and potentially help OD practitioners more effectively solve problems. It is my expectation that by demonstrating a connection to well-established OD concepts, practitioners will feel more inclined to embrace design thinking as a valid methodology in their work..


Surfacing Implicit Bias Towards More Intentional Leadership Development


In my work advancing social change, I often come across research and reports discussing implicit bias, how to recognize it and how to manage it. Indeed, when it comes to issues regarding professional advancement for women and people of color, we often hear of how these individuals are passed over because they do not appear to be “leadership material”. My intention for this deep dive assignment would be to explore how our own implicit biases can hinder our personal leadership development and the development of others in our care.

Research questions:

  1. How can one understand and recognize one’s own biases?
  2. How can one apply their knowledge of their own biases to their personal leadership development and the leadership development of their colleagues and direct reports?