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MD’s Letter : December 2016

Final Wrap Up of 2016


Dear SAODN Supporter

Wow, what a year 2016 has been for the SAODN, for our country and indeed for the world.  I read an article recently in which someone likened 2016 to a Quentin Tarantino movie… only most of us have felt like cast members rather than passive observers.

This email offers a celebration of what we’ve achieved in 2016 as a community, a fast forward look at the exciting year ahead in 2017 and also calls for volunteer support for our activities in the new year.

2016 – Stabilising the Foundations
I think 2016 has been a year in which the SAODN has grown in organisational stability and strength.  A lot of the work around progressing our financial welfare, building agreements with IODA and broadening the membership offer has been happening behind the scenes but have nonetheless been absolutely crucial in setting us up for a great 2017.

Some of the highlights to celebrate:

  • The growing relationship with IODA and laying the foundations for the joint IODA Flourish conference from 6-8 September 2017 in Stellenbosch.
  • A very constructive and collaborative Flourish conference on the issues of Power, influence and race in organisations in September in Gauteng.
  • Brilliant SAODN Corner events, with a growing community from organisational members joining our independent practitioners as the year progressed. Thank you to all the community members who put up their hands to share their learning and questions with all of us.
  • Our first SAODN webinar, followed later in the year by our first participation in the IODA webinar with practitioners from India in November of this year.
  • Brilliant member benefits and workshop discounts for international experts like Snowden, Ulrich, Paes and others.
  • 2016 saw the second year of an SAODN representative participating in the International OD Association conference, this time in Mysore India.
  • Getting financial statements and other issues up to date, thereby also providing for more transparency and stability in our non profit from a governance perspective.
  • We welcomed Michelle de Bruyn from IODA onto the SAODN management committee as the co-chair of the event next year. Nomvula Dlamini also joined the conference organising committee.


  • The Durban community has been first hot and then cold. After some conversations it looks like the way forward in this region is to work on co-sanctioned events with other associated professions such as the HR and Coaching fraternities. We will be exploring this in 2017 to ensure a more regular offering in this region.

A great thank you goes out to all the organisations that have supported us with venues for our OD Corners during the course of 2016.  We are also super-excited to announce a new home for OD Corner events in Cape Town in 2017.  Juta have generously come on board to offer us a venue for events in 2017 which is much appreciated.  A continued thank you to our other regular supporters, including WorldsView Academy, ContractSA and Amdec.

I would also like to personally thank our administrator, James Eckley and the management team and board for their support during this year. Well done team!

2017 – Global Collaboration
I don’t think we fully appreciate what will be happening in our OD community in 2017 yet. The joint IODA and SAODN conference is going to inspire and challenge us in very good ways. Having been part of an IODA event for the first time in 2016, I know that the vibrancy, global perspectives and opportunities to learn from our peers in countries such as India, Myanmar, Hungary, Japan, Chile and many other places is just what we need.

What can we look forward to as a community in 2017?

Firstly, we have the best membership special in the history of the SAODN running right now. Join the SAODN and IODA for a year for only R2700. You get more than that back in conference discounts alone, and you get to attend other events for free.  Don’t delay and renew or sign up by sending an email to .

Secondly, we are bringing on board new Board Members in 2017 to support governance.  A huge welcome and thank you goes out to Patrick Kuwana, Mike Truelock and Dumisani Ntombela who will be joining the Board from January next year.

Thirdly, if you haven’t checked out the 2017 conference website yet, do so and please diarise 6-8 September 2017.  The conference will be hosted in Stellenbosch at the Sustainability Institute.  The theme for the conference is Thriving through Diversity, with an invitation to go beyond superficial celebrations of diversity and transformation to enable us to get stuck into the challenges related to inclusion, structural transformation, agency and deep democracy.

The call for collaborators is already out, with deadlines early in January and February if you want to be part of the offering and programme.  We are also calling for proposals for pre-conference and post-conference workshops.  Please, put in your proposal and spread the word to other colleagues to encourage them to attend.

The 2017 conference will also have a day of organisational visits and we are looking for your suggestions for such organisations with an interesting transformation or inclusion story to share with the international community.

You can already book your seat for the conference – there is a Very Early Bird conference special that runs until the end of January for members which is too good to miss. Check out the prices and details on

2017 will kick off with an awesome OD Corner in January hosted by the raconteur and thought leader John Paisley in Cape Town (Topic: Coaching and Change; Date: 19 January).   SAODN members also qualify for a discount for a deeply transformative Enneagram workshop hosted by Uranio Paes from Brazil at the end of January.  He is one of my teachers and mentors, so check it out if you haven’t signed up already.  This will be followed by a wonderful workshop on Group and Organisational Psychodynamics in the Tavistock tradition in March by Ben Neal from the UK and Monica Velarde from Peru. The monthly OD corners will also inspire you as the year progresses.

We look forward to a year of great opportunities, international collaborations and vitality in our OD community.

Volunteer as an SAODN Member
As you know, the SAODN operates on a volunteer basis and we are going the route of micro-volunteering in 2017.  In short, the more hands on deck, the less each has to give.  We have had such stalwarts supporting our regional SAODN communities.  A special word of thanks goes out to Donna Glanvill,  Mia Blom, Candice Nisbet, Samantha de Reuck and Annette Messaris for their work around the regional events and the Flourish 2016 conference.  Your continued support for what we are doing in our local OD community is really appreciated.

What we need for 2017:

  • Most of our current volunteers are remaining on board.  However, we would like to increase the number of regional convenors to 3 per region, which means each person gets to host 3 local OD corner events.  Do you have an appetite for this? Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban based volunteers are welcome.  The role entails finalising speakers and invites and being a host on the day.  Past volunteers have really enjoyed the exposure it has given them to the national OD community and the growth in career and networking prospects through the role.  It will require 4-5 hours of your time once every 3 months.
  • Instead of having a single person as Learning Director for all regions and the conference, we are looking at a Learning Director role for each region.  This requires overseeing the choices and themes for the OD Corners, and supporting the Convenors in getting their jobs done.  It would require 3-5 hours of volunteering a month.  Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban based volunteers are welcome.
  • We are also looking for a volunteer to take care of the membership portfolio during 2017.  We have recently secured the joint IODA-SAODN membership offer and would love for someone to volunteer 2-3 hours a month to drive the SAODN membership forward as we gear up for the international conference in September 2017.
  • We are in need of someone to act as Treasurer for the SAODN in 2017. This role requires 2-3 hours a month in support of the financial management of our Non-Profit
  • We have started the journey towards hosting webinars and hosted our own event and a co-sanctioned IODA webinar in 2016.  We need someone who loves the online learning space to volunteer as convenor in the online space.  We would like to see 5 webinars take place in 2017, which would each entail 4-6 hours of volunteering to set up.

Put up your hand and contribute to Organisation Development in South Africa in 2017. We are self-organised and plan to continue to be so, so if you enjoy what we offer you as a member of the community 2017 is the most exciting year ever in which to pay it forward.

Take care over December. I know our community generally slows down for the summer holidays. Rest, rejuvenate and take some time to think about being a collaborator at the IODA Flourish Conference.

See you early in 2017.
Lucille Greeff
Managing Director – SAODN



Previous Letters

MD’s Letter : May 2016

SAODN MD’s Letter : September 2015

SAODN Newsletter : January 2015