IOD Feature: An interview with Angela Pearson
Angela Pearson is the President and CEO of recently created OD Synergistics Consulting, LLC, and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt for GlaxoSmithKline in Upstate NY. Angela holds a Masters of Science in Occupational Safety and Health, a Masters of Business Administration, and a Masters of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She is a member of several professional organizations including GIODN. She will finish up her OD Certified Professional Certification Program with the Institute of Organization Development in June 2019.
- Why were you drawn to the field of OD?
AP: I was drawn to the field of OD because I have realized over the past two decades there is so much work to do in connecting leaders to employees for positive engagement within organizations.
2. What are the keys to success when helping organizations implement change?
AP: Some of the key successes to helping organizations implement change are trust, transparency, and clear/constant communication. Change is difficult whether it is anticipated or not. Letting people know you are there with them to support them through the change encourages the process to move along more smoothly. Also, communicating early that change is coming and keeping the updates on progress shows that leaders care about helping their employees overcome resistance.
- Where did you learn how to practice OD? What certifications did you complete?
AP: I learned about OD tools in my Doctoral course for Industrial Organization Psychology back in 2013. I decided last year to register for Dr. Nancy Zentis’ ODCP program and will complete it in June 2019.
- What are some suggestions you can give those entering the field of OD?
AP: Some of the suggestions I would give to those who are entering the field of OD is to genuinely care about people, know your tools/processes and when to apply them, and do not be afraid to have tough conversations with your client for their need to be more involved in the change management process.
- What recommendations would you give to OD professionals about influencing senior leaders and gaining involvement and commitment?
AP: Some senior leaders do not feel that they need to be the change that they desire to see. It is our duty as OD professionals to help them understand why leading from the top is an essential ingredient for change. Employees feel better about making a change if they see their leaders are embracing it. Leaders’ behavior as leading by example is imperative for the resistors to believe change is for the better of the organization.
- What do organizations need from OD professionals to support their change initiatives?
AP: Organizations need knowledgeable OD professionals who are skilled in a continuous cycle of improvement whereby strategies are planned, implemented, evaluated, improved and monitored.
Thank you, Angela Pearson, for sharing your insights about OD and providing great advice to OD professionals. We look forward to including you among our esteemed OD alumni!