Time to Think About the Gurus in Your Field?

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    A colleague called me last week, reporting that she had actually spoke face-to-face with one of the gurus in our field of Organization Development. In her extreme excitement, she could hardly speak slowly enough for me to actually understand her.

    Several months ago, I got a brochure announcing an upcoming conference in my field. As usual, I scanned the list of speakers to notice if my personal gurus would be there. This time, it finally dawned on me that I’d like to hear some new voices, rather than the same cadre of strongly adored leaders in my field. Still, I looked for the list of the same gurus.

    I’ve noticed over the years that many of my gurus are starting to sound the same. They proclaim the same very broad, seemingly obvious generalizations, many of which could be said by a newbie in our field — but not nearly with the same credibility. So it’s not what’s being said — it’s who’s saying it that seems to be most important.

    While we assert the need to think out of the box, to hear different perspectives, are we listening too much to our gurus?

    At what point does someone become a guru? At what point does a guru cease being a guru?

    What do you think?


    For more resources, see the Library topics Consulting and Organizational Development.

    Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD – Authenticity Consulting, LLC – 800-971-2250
    Read my weekly blogs: Boards, Consulting and OD, Nonprofits and Strategic Planning.