by: Ana Bella Christina Chee (HR Manager, SupportZebra)
Nine (9) People Managers successfully finished the Certificate Course in Organization Development (OD) under the DHRM Program of Xavier Ateneo last May 29, 2021. The course culminated with a 2-hour special learning session on the “Trends Shaping the Future of Organizations: Future Proofing the OD Practitioner”, passionately shared by a guest speaker from Manila, a former Vice-President and Dean – College of Arts and Sciences in San Beda College, Alabang, Dr. Thelma Geraldine Baricaua
In this photo: 1st Row, L-R (top most): Richard Mamuyac (Training Manager, PMAP), Josan Gonzaga (General Manager, TransPacific Office Partners, Inc.), Rogelio Lee, Jr (Xavier Ateneo DHRM Program Coordinator), and Ana Bella Christina Chee (HR Manager, SupportZebra)
2nd row, L-R: Marietta Magallones (HR Manager, Climbs Life & Gen. Insurance), Mariecon Pacuribot (Organizational Excellence Manager, SupportZebra), Dexter Din (Vice Principal – School Affairs, Thai Singapore International School), and Niño Mae Duran (Managing Director, SupportZebra)
3rd row, L-R: Richel Macatual (HR Head, Taganito Mining Corporation), May De Guzman (OD Course Facilitator), Neil Lester Gimeno (Business Development Staff, USTP-Technology Promotions & Comm. Office), with Dean Gerrie, resource speaker from San Beda College, Alabang
4th row (bottom): Donna Marie Michelle Dizon (VP Admin & Corp. Planning Executive Director, Climbs Life & Gen. Insurance)
This is a simple story of my love for a field that I have had no formal education, no formal training at all. My name is Ana Bella Christina Chee, a DHRM student, who fell in love with Organization Development.
I think it was a love at first sight. I was introduced to OD when I was with another BPO company. A friend once told me to pursue the course, but I was too afraid to go back to school and study. When I transferred to SupportZebra, I found my way again to OD. Transitioning from General HR to OD, was a decision filled with excitement but also nervousness. Realizing that I know little of the OD world is both challenging and nerve-wracking for me. I remembered how much I wished to enroll in the course but was afraid to until SupportZebra paved the way for DHRM. When our Managing Director, Dr. Nino Mae V. Duran informed me that we will enroll in the course, my heart skipped a beat. Finally, I will come face to face with that field closest to my heart. I love Human Resources in general, but I would really love to delve my hands into and explore Organization Development. And so, my OD journey began.
On the 1st day of class, I was nervous, afraid, anxious, and enthusiastic all at the same time. I never imagined myself to be all these emotions for a class. It was like going to kindergarten all over again. When our admired and well-respected facilitator, Ms. Aida May Bergado-De Guzman MA, RPsy, RPm, AFPM shared to us the overview on OD, I found myself the more enthralled and awed. I liked how she started with the story the “Hope for the Flowers.” It set the tone and the inspiration for the whole OD program. I saw how the story moved all of us including my colleagues. Each Saturday, Ms. May would unravel new OD learning: from OD diagnostic models, models used for planned change, OD interventions to monitoring and evaluation. At first, the topics sounded complicated, very technical, and so structured. It felt like the course was difficult to understand. However, our facilitator assured us that what seemed to sound like complex would have a simple answer. To ease our apprehensions, Ms. May would start the session by asking us what we were grateful for and end of the session by asking what was our “AHA” or “Hashtag” moments for that day’s topic. From then on, we just looked forward to every Saturday class. Hence, the 2 hours became 3 and sometimes more. Not that we were complaining. We just simply loved each session although sometimes it felt overwhelming. Another lesson in OD, when it becomes overwhelming, go back to “How do you eat an elephant? - Just take one bite at a time.” Hence, when our brains are loaded with OD information, we just take one bite at a time. I know that this was not just true to me. My boss, who was in the US at that time, would find a way to attend the class even if he was on the road. It was as if we simply cannot get enough of the Saturdays with OD. When we were confronted with uncontrollable issues such as internet, we did not give up the day so easily. I witnessed to how my classmates would find a way to join the class in spite the connection problems.
That is not all, though. Ms. May taught us to appreciate OD with another medium. Who would have thought that Itaewon Class and Hot Stove League, both K-drama, helped us understand the complications of diagnostic and change models in a manner so simple and enjoyable? And those insight papers and case studies! Eight insight papers plus 2 OD cases researched, studied, and dissected. We tackled a total of 28 cases in all including the 2 K-drama mentioned.
Then finally, the course was concluded by a very inspiring teacher, Dr. Thelma Geraldine Baricaua (Former Vice-President and Dean – College of Arts and Sciences in San Beda College, Alabang), known as Dean Gerrie. What Ms. May started, Dean Gerrie concluded with a hope that we can become the positive change in our respective organizations.
This is not an easy feat. Ms. May and Dean Gerrie are inspirations and women of substance who are experts on OD and dedicated to their craft. They are models of positive change that we would like to emulate and follow. But personally, I know I still have a long road ahead of me. Like Yellow in the “Hope for the Flowers”, I am still in the cocoon, discovering, introspecting, grasping the changes and slowly crawling out of the cocoon to see the world in a new light.
It is my great wish to become a positive change, too, in the lives of others and in our organization. This program paved the way for me to channel my strength to something greater and bigger. I am excited to learn more and fall in love over and over again to this field. And I hope one day, I will fulfill my dream of becoming a change agent.
Please allow me to finish this love story with deep gratitude and love in my heart. To our teacher and facilitator, Ms. May de Guzman, for sharing with us her passion in OD and for guiding us in our pursuit for positive change; to my classmates, who are always energetic and full of life; to Sir Roger Lee, our ever-supportive Coordinator of the DHRM Program in Xavier-Ateneo; to Dean Gerrie for the inspiration to continue learning and to my boss, who gave me the opportunity to join this program. May we all become change agents in our own communities and organizations. Congratulations to all!
The Certificate in Organization Development was indeed a ride of a lifetime.