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Organizational Development English Library

O.D. Institute Newsletter

 January 2006



     During the Holiday Season and at the beginning of a New Year, it is customary to take some time out of busy schedules to sing about Peace on Earth and Good Will towards one another. Because of our special training, Organization Development people have a special responsibility to make Peace on Earth really happen and not just something that we sing about once a year. Behavioral Scientist have done much to reduce violence in families and to develop nonviolent solutions for conflict in small groups and in business organizations. The challenge we now face is how to develop a technology for the nonviolent management of  national and international conflict. The O.D. Institute has been active in this arena for many years. We have appreciated the support of members and non-members during this past year and we want to express our appreciation to you as we look forward to your assistance during the coming year. Some of the things The O.D. Institute has done to try and make Peace on Earth really happen include:
     In 1985 I went to Nicaragua during the war between the Contras and the Sandinistas. We traveled up into the war zone because the U.S. funded Somoza National Guard troops tended not to attack little rural villages if U.S. citizens were in the area. We visited the refugee camps and a home for orphans where I talked with women who had been widowed and held in my arms little children who had been orphaned by U.S. funded Somoza National Guard troops. The mayor of one small town told us of terrible torture by the Contras. Even for a combat Infantry Squad Leader who had fought from Belgium to the Elbe River during World War II, it was a very powerful experience. We also met with diplomats from both sides, religious leaders, businessmen and Rotary Club members.
     In 1985 while Poland was still under Communism, we took a team of 20 O.D. Institute members to Poland for a week to meet with an equal number of Polish O.D. consultants.  We went back in 1989 to meet with Lech Walesa and others community leaders who were working on a peaceful transition from Communism. We took teams of O.D. Institute members back to Poland in 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992 to teach and consult.
     Because I had written a book on Conflict Resolution Technology, I was invited to South Africa in 1986 while South Africa was still under apartheid. I knew the world was unlikely to believe anything that a white American had to say. So I came back to the USA and recruited a team of O.D. Institute members to go and see the situation for themselves. We traveled around South Africa in a big bus. We all traveled on the same bus, Blacks and Whites together. We ate together in the same restaurants. We slept in the same hotels. We met with community leaders both black and white to discuss how to create change without violence.
    In 1987 while the Soviet Union was still under Communism, The O.D. Institute organized an O.D. World Congress and a World Peace Conference on a riverboat on the Volga River as it sailed down the Volga River from Kazan to Volgograd to Rostov on Don.
     In 1992 during their war, we brought together in Williams Bay, Wisconsin people from Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia to discuss their differences and how they might be resolved without all the killing. Because I had written a book on Conflict Resolution Technology, I was invited to Croatia for nine days to see if O.D. could be useful with the problems there. I visited the front lines and toured the area in Croatia that had been occupied by the Serbs. I visited the refugee camps, spoke with survivors of ethnic cleansing and saw the vandalism and the sadistic graffiti that the Serb troops had left behind.
     In 1998 we brought three people from Northern Ireland to a ski lodge in New Hampshire to discuss the troubles in Northern Ireland. We brought three more in 1999 to an old cattle ranch in Bandera, Texas. In 2000 we met in Hawaii. The first group consisted of the Mayor of Belfast, a Catholic priest and a Presbyterian minister. The second group included the new Mayor of Belfast, a City Councilman in Derry who is the Public Relations Officer for Sinn Fein in all of Northern Ireland and a Presbyterian minister active in reconciliation efforts.  In April of 2000, a scouting team of Don Cole and Sharon Thorne went to Northern Ireland to meet with community leaders to see if they could use an O.D. Consulting Team to help solve the troubles in Northern Ireland. We will meet again May 15-19, 2006 in Chicago and in July at a time and place not yet decided. If you are interested in participating in a project on how O.D. and Psychology might help solve national and international problems without violence, you are invited to come and speak to us.

“We must seek to develop and use our minds not to conquer one another, but to peacefully and constructively solve the conflicts that cause so much of the world’s grief…It is this human mind and spirit that I challenge each of you to explore.”
…..Edwin Williams Lynch





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