Step 2 – Reflecting and Learning
Step 2 presumes you have become acquainted with each of the 11 foundational OD competences and the various OD specialisms, while also considering the patterns of your own OD practice and outcomes to date. Now you are invited to dig a bit deeper, conducting a ‘self-directed inquiry’ into what are your shorter- and longer-term career destinations. It may be helpful to think of this reflective exercise a career dialogue/conversation with yourself, or with a trusted peer or a development coach, exploring some of the following questions, using the space provided to journal your answers to the questions below:
The intention of Step 2 is to help you gain insights into yourself within the larger context of the OD career goals to which you aspire. To that end, it is important you get a sense of what is your career destination. (Of course, depending on your age and stage of life, ‘career destination’ may carry a variety of meanings. But whatever your age and stage, this self-reflection can yield vital insights for personal and professional growth.)
During reflection, it is often helpful to ‘chunk the journey’ into smaller steps—looking backward as well as looking forward to what is your desired destination in, e.g., 2 or 3 years (a ‘near term’ time scale may be more useful when you begin to construct your aspirational OD competence profile.)
Please note: This ‘reflecting and learning’ step is NOT about creating a report card. Rather, in keeping with the journey metaphor, it is more like reviewing a roadmap and identifying your desired destination—where and how you want to arrive—what type of OD mastery you want to grow as an OD practitioner. With this ‘map’ you will be able to craft a personal competence profile that fits your OD experience, skills and aspirations, which is Step 3. But before turning to Step 3, please note:
- The reflections and learning that emerge from your reflections in Step 2 will help build a foundation for Step 3 in which there will be a form to help you construct your personal OD competence profile, capturing your professional OD aspirations.
- Constructing this profile is like marking a map for navigating a journey, identifying milestones for reaching your next destination as you pursue greater OD mastery.
- Remember that this step is analytical, NOT evaluative — Put simply, the choices in your personal competence profile are based on your answers to this question: Given my OD career aspirations, what is required to help me reach that professional and personal destination? Therefore, no matter how tempted you might be at this stage to assess yourself, please don’t. Bear in mind that you need first to establish the map with a destination in view before calculating how far you will need to go and what you need to get there. (That will be the work of the Step 4 – self-assessment.)
- Don’t be in a hurry to get to Step 3, to complete your personalized competence profile. It is important to give plenty of time for the reflection and learning described in this step. Moreover, it is an iterative process. It needs not, and likely should not, be drafted in one go. Subsequent steps, especially the reflective work and filling in the form, can be worked on over time, saving and revisiting your emerging reflections as often as needed.
It is also important to bear in mind that Step 3 (building your competence profile from the 11 foundational competences) and Step 6 (reviewing and adding OD specialisms to your personal development plan) are interrelated. It is to be expected that any OD specialisms that you desire to develop from Step 6 will have some overlap with the 11 foundational competences. Again, the process is iterative, allowing you to move back and forth between the competences and specialisms. Indeed, the ‘back and forth’ iteration often leads to stronger and deeper insights.