Societal Gamechanger

Cultivating Compassionate Change

“What we cannot imagine cannot come into being.” ~ bell hooks


It's time to answer your calling, ignite your passion, boost your capabilities, and enjoy the ride! Work your way through the tabs above to learn about the specific types of OD jobs you'll love and plug directly into resources that energize and propel your calling, including carefully curated books, articles, podcasts, and a community of practitioners just like you! Get more mileage out of this report by bookmarking this page in your browser, so you can refuel periodically.

As you read through your assessment, you may think to yourself, "this is very true about me!" You may also think, ""this doesn't exactly sound like me." Take note of these nuances because they likely hold additional clues to your career calling. In our advanced section you will have an opportunity to connect with a certified OD Career Coach!

The OD Career Calling Assessment continues to be inspired by so many bright minds who wish to influence positive, healthy, and sustainable change in their systems and themselves. These include assessment takers like you, students, professors, award winning practitioners,  employers, and a variety of institutes and associations. This also could not be possible without the collective efforts of so many researchers and thought-leaders. We encourage you to learn more about their work in our author databaseIf you have any questions regarding your report, send us an email at

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Answer the Calling!

It's undeniable. Many OD professionals, despite the challenges they face, absolutely love their jobs. We call this the "OD Calling" and it's a kind of joy that blurs the lines between work and life (in a good way!). To assess what makes an OD career a calling, our assessment has its roots in four questions that are key to identifying meaningful work, according to an ancient Japanese wisdom tradition called Ikigai, which translates as: reason for being. When combined, your answers to these four questions can reveal a career path that is most meaningful, rewarding, and impactful (compared with other OD careers). Much has been written about this wisdom tradition, and its many natural connection with recent articles and views about meaningful work. These basic questions include:

  1. What type of change outcomes do you wish to influence?
  2. What type of professional identity do associate with?
  3. What unique talents have you mastered?

  4. Which approach to change brings you the most joy?

Many characteristics of this model make it particularly appealing for the context of OD careers. In addition to containing questions that focus on change (a primary outcome in OD) and meaning-making (a primary process in OD) , Ikigai is often used in coaching sessions to assist with career exploration. Each of these questions have two primary preferences. This results in 16 different combinations (OD Career Callings). Our analysis demonstrates that while some callings are more common than others, there is representations of all callings in education and career opportunities.

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The "Surgeon"


Organizational vs. Societal

Those who prefer Organizational Outcomes experience a greater fulfillment by working on projects related with organizational change, which includes the development of a competitive strategy, employee engagement, business performance, agility, design, ethics, employee wellness, and process efficiency. On the other hand, those who prefer Societal Outcomes experience greater fulfillment by improving organizations that work on societal issues. Satisfaction is derived from working directly on societal change efforts such as community development, social justice, environmental sustainability, income equality, establishing healthy food sources, and addressing unethical governments.


Hybrid vs. Pure

Those who gravitate toward a Hybrid OD Identity tend to feel more at home in career roles that are adjacent or partially overlap the OD profession, marked by a preference for some but not all OD job characteristics. According to our research, OD is now diffused or merged into professions that include Talent Development, Human Resources, Human Resource Development, Management Consulting, DE&I, and Executive Coaching. Still, those with a Hybrid  preference can still appreciate and adopt additional characteristics of Pure OD practitioners, who identify only as OD professionals (i.e. "OD Proper"), and hold titles that are strictly named OD and attend only to matters of OD as defined mainly by university educators. 


Classic vs. Innovative

Those who prefer a Classic Approach are more likely to enjoy a step-by-step, scientific, and objective approach to change that engages in diagnosis, problem solving, and changing behaviors. This is also known as the "Diagnostic" approach to OD, and it still has a very large following. On the other hand, those who prefer a more Innovative Approach are more likely to enjoy a "Dialogic", subjective, and emergent approach to change that facilitates sense-making and the transformation of mindsets. The Innovative Approach includes both "Dialogic" OD and relatively newer "Conscious OD" paradigms.


Specialized vs. Broad 

Those who prefer a Specialized mastery of OD tend to gravitate to just one or two specific approaches (e.g. Appreciative Inquiry), and many with great success! However, they do not prefer to possess the remarkably extensive, Broad mastery of knowledge, skills, and abilities that represent all three core competency domains discussed above (Social, Technical, and Influence).  Those who prefer a Broad Mastery may serve a wide range of organizational roles as they have an ample number of OD frameworks, tools, and approaches. Broad Mastery also requires a deep knowledge of the theoretical and psychological underpinnings of OD work.