The Fifteen Commandments of Crosby OD*

  1. Thou shalt not bow to the market pressures of rejecting the old and worshipping the “new”
  2. Thou shalt not impose your bias against authority and hierarchy on others and call it sound theory
  3. Thou shalt not confuse “action-research” with the ineffective expert model of gathering data and then telling people what to do
  4. Thou shalt not over-function by speaking and thinking for others (through anonymous feedback, etc.), thereby encouraging under-functioning in the system
  5. Thou shalt not only coach leaders one-on-one, or separate from their system
  6. Thou shalt have a bias toward action, and towards helping the people facing the problems come up with their own solutions
  7. Thou shalt transfer thy theory and methods throughout the client system so as to increase their capacity to solve their own problems
  8. Thou shalt work at every level of the system so thou art not blind to the whole and do not become part of the fragmentation of the system
  9. Thou shalt foster Kurt Lewin’s democratic principles of leadership throughout the system (a balance of authority and empowerment) over autocratic (over-functioning leadership) and laissez-faire (under-functioning leadership)
  10. Thou shalt help the leadership align the system around measurable goals, beliefs/values (such as Lewin’s democratic principles of leadership), and behaviors (such as single point accountability)
  11. Thou shalt be alert to pitfalls such as goal conflict (jeopardizing quality and/or safety in pursuit of production), confusing goals with activity (tasks, meetings, trainings, projects, etc.), and tunnel-vision (focusing only on what is measured)
  12. Thou shalt help foster decision clarity throughout the system, with a bias towards empowering people to take action and make decisions as close to the action as possible
  13. Thou shalt actively “re-educate” and teach “use of self” to the system via T-groups and other means – grounded in the work you continue to do on yourself
  14. Thou shalt be a catalyst for “unfreezing” the current homeostasis by decreasing restraining forces such as avoidance, mistrust, and disengagement, and for “freezing” high-performance culture into a sustainable homeostasis
  15. Thou shalt be willing to take a stand for what is right, including the effectiveness of every role and the dignity of every human being in the system

*Much of the above was handed down by Kurt Lewin and unlike Mel Brooks we didn’t drop our third tablet

About crosbyod

Crosby & Associates OD is a catalyst for high performance & morale. Our methods are a unique blend grounded in research and decades of experience. In the spirit of Kurt Lewin, the founder of OD, as we partner with you in the present we transfer our methods to you so you are independent in the future. Learn more at
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