Beyond Positive/Problem Polarities

Some OD-related literature tends to present a dichotomy between positively-oriented approaches – which look to the future and strengths that can be built upon –and problem-based approaches, grounded in established OD diagnostic processes. Yet, if we can recognize and hold open the space between these orientations, we might gain access to additional mental resources in working through challenging issues. Tapping these otherwise latent resources requires that we recognize and overcome common default patterns of interaction including tendencies to react, make negative judgments about others, and dance around issues. A structure, the Obreau Tripod, is introduced as an antidote to these behavior patterns and as an aid to approaching difficult conversations. A case example of applying the Obreau Tripod in a university dean’s office is presented.

Don Dunoon
OD Practitioner, Vol. 46 No. 1 2014, pp. 18-25.