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Interviewing an OD Legend

Roger Harrison, Ph.D.

"Strategy, methods, and technique are important, but are only as effective as the foundation of trust created by the practitioner’s capacity and skill of deep listening and non-judgment."

In Whidbey Island, Wash. to interview Roger Harrison, Ph.D. for the Pepperdine University MSOD Alumni Founders’ Series. From conducting sensitivity training laboratories during the 1950's to influencing the way organizations and consultants respond to today's complexity, Roger has significantly influenced the birth and growth of the OD field.


I first met Roger in 1991 when I was in graduate school with Pepperdine University, and we periodically remained connected over the years. Sitting in Roger’s living room on September 20, 2014, he was gracious and generous in sharing his wisdom about the evolution of his career and the field of organization development. 


A big takeaway from the interview with Roger came from a question about his advice for future OD practitioners. Roger thoughtfully replied, "Strategy, methods, and technique are important, but are only as effective as the foundation of trust created by the practitioner’s capacity and skill of deep listening and non-judgment."


Our filmed conversation on Whidbey Island captured only a thimbleful of his knowledge and wisdom. Yet, I am grateful the OD community will benefit from Roger’s wisdom into perpetuity. The interview was made possible through the Founder’s Series, sponsored by Pepperdine University MSOD alumni. The series is part of an effort to document the philosophy and teaching of the thinkers and leaders in our field.


Roger has written numerous articles about OD, many of which have become classics in the field. Read a selection of Roger Harrison’s articles online at the Pepperdine MSOD website.



About the Author

Dr. Laura L. Hauser, MCC, MCEC

Founder, Leadership Strategies International


Dr. Laura Hauser, MCC, MCEC, works with organizational leaders and their teams (and the professionals who support them) to build healthy workplace cultures. She is an internationally-recognized thought leader and researcher in the highly specialized space of team coaching. Using art and science, she teaches, coaches, supervises and consults in a way that expands mindsets and capabilities needed to navigate through disruption. Laura has been honored for her contributions to the coaching profession. She is the developer of the Team Coaching Operating System®, an ACSTH coaching school accredited by the International Coach Federation. Contact Laura by email or on LinkedIn


When referencing this material, please acknowledge the source: ©2020 Dr. Laura L. Hauser, MCC, www.leadership-strategies.com

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