2023 End of Year Message from Noble Kumawu, President of IODA

Noble Kumawu

Fellow colleagues in the OD space, I bring you warm greetings from the Executive Committee of IODA.

All too soon another year is almost at an end. Unfortunately, 2023 will not go down in history as an uneventful year. The war between Russia and Ukraine is raging on and the Israel-Hamas war shows no signs of abating. The post-covid-19 global economy has not shown any strong signs of recovery and new mass paediatric respiratory conditions are being brought to the attention of the world.

I remember back in the days of the labour unrest in Poland, some OD consultants from the then OD Institute (now ISODC), organised themselves and travelled to Poland to provide free OD consultations to the Lech Walesa-led Labour leadership. I think it will be befitting to our profession to avail our services to institutions in conflict today.

However, organising ourselves and putting our OD skills to use and intervening in conflicts in various parts of the world will be meaningless unless we exercise our profession the way it should be practiced and living by our ethics. Typically, professional ethics include honesty, trustworthiness, transparency, accountability, confidentiality, objectivity, respect, obedience of the law and loyalty.

When Dr. Bill Gellermann and his colleagues developed the OD Code of Ethics for the OD profession worldwide (December, 1991, 22nd Revision), they expected it:

  • To increase professional and ethical consciousness among OD Professionals and their sense of ethical responsibilities.
  • To guide OD Professionals in making more informed ethical choices; and
  • To help the OD profession itself function at the fullness of its potential.

As OD professionals, we acknowledge the fundamental importance of the following values (not exhaustive) both for the profession and ourselves.

  • Quality of life – people being satisfied with their whole life experience.
  • Freedom & responsibility – people being free and responsible in choosing how they will live-their lives.
  • Justice – people living lives whose results are fair and right for everyone;
  • All-win attitudes & cooperation – people caring about one another and about working together to achieve results that work for everyone, individually and collectively;
  • Authenticity and openness in relationships;

Dr. Gellermann and colleagues also developed ethical guidelines and listed five areas of responsibilities for the OD Practitioner, namely:

  • Responsibilities to self
  • Responsibility for Professional Development and Competence
  • Responsibility to clients and Significant others
  • Responsibility to the Profession
  • Social Responsibility

Once we do our homework well and undertake our calling professionally, not only will our clients take us seriously but many organizational and societal challenges, including the pervasive conflicts confronting us in various countries of the world, even if they don’t become things of the past, life will become more comfortable to live.

I want to appreciate all the major contributors to the work of IODA. Greg and his team have just given us a fantastic annual conference in Geelong, Australia. Thank you Greg and your team. Our members who have given us useful feedback that the Executive Committee continues to work on behind the scenes to ensure that members have value for money. Thank you also to those members who have facilitated webinars on topical issues during the course of the year. And of course, the on-and-off energy on the “We are One Family” IODA WhatsApp Group cannot go without a mention.

We promise you a vibrant 2024, full of various exciting activities. For now, on behalf of the Executive Committee and on my own behalf, I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Long Live OD! Long Live IODA!