2 responses to “Are You Doing OD? Training? Consulting? Coaching? All of These?”

  1. I happen to be one of those “ODer’s” and I think that’s why I find this article so great! I started in the training realm and developed to where I am today, and now my only aversion to training is that I feel as though organizations don’t conduct a thorough enough performance assessment (if any!) initially to determine that training really is the correct solution. Many times what is referred to as a “training thing” really should be something handled through a change in the communications infrastructures (i.e. just-in-time communications to the appropriate people as defined by the organization, to help them in the successful execution of their job), a shift in the corporate culture (accountability, values, etc.), or any number of other solutions. That’s not to say that training may not be one tool, but I don’t think it is the end-all-beat-all solution.

    As with anything, respect is key, and I’m glad to see it talked about in this context. I have a great respect for those that specialize in training and adult education and don’t consider them any less than myself. The same goes for being a coach vs a consultant: one in the same.

  2. I think the “coaching is not consulting” meme was part of an early, and somewhat misguided attempt to define and differentiate coaching as a new profession. As one who comes from a long line of teachers, I have another perspective: remove the idea that teaching is what happens to (with?) children in a school, and teaching encompasses most of these other professions. Group instruction, training, facilitation, and coaching are modes of teaching. Teachers counsel to the extent that the counseling supports the learning goals. When teachers do in their roles as advisors – analyze problems from an expert perspective and give guidance – they consult.

    It also seems to me that whether this falls into the realm of “organizational development” (and institutional purposes) or “human development” (as in individual entrepreneurial or career situations) is a separate issue from what the mode is.

    I understand the need for these labels to communicate a profile that listeners expect. I don’t think the differences are ultimately real.

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