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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

Caroline Kimrey

“All an organization is is what the people within it create.”

Practicum 2 in San Jose, Costa Rica built on what we've already studied regarding small systems and change, yet broadened the scope to what it means to work within complex, large scale change.  I was extremely fortunate to be a participating member of three organizations – better yet, communities – while in Costa Rica.  Each of these communities powerfully demonstrated to me what people and possibility can create together.
 
Coca-Cola.  5 hours spent with 12 Coca-Cola leaders on a Friday morning in January left me far more inspired than any of the employees I came to meet with.  Using appreciative inquiry, our consulting team encouraged these talented Coca-Cola employees to approach internal transitions with an eye towards possibility by realizing the assets they already had: one another.  As energy surged in the room, I was struck at how a simple framework of discovering, dreaming, and designing paved the way for laughter, brainstorming, connection, inspiration, and hope.  This indeed was created by community.
 
Costa Rican Humanitarian Population (CRHF), La Carpio.  Traveling 20 minutes from our hotel to an immigrant settlement community offered a new perspective to the power of dwelling in possibility.  Our cohort listened as the Executive Director told her personal journey to La Carpio, and how bit by bit restoration unfolded in this impoverished community.  As we talked to medical staff, soccer players, and educators in the community, we learned how to gain data through observation and make meaning collectively.  This indeed was created by community. 

MSOD Upsilon Prime.  I thought I loved my cohort before coming to Costa Rica, but little did I know the surge of love awaiting me.  Beginning with an invitation, our cohort jointly explored the stories we tell ourselves, and "enacted acts of reconciliation" to one another.  These acts of reconciliation were gifts, not just to individuals, but gifts to the community.  As we shared our stories, music, dance, poetry, and photography, I grew more appreciative and in awe of the possibilities deep connection and love create.  This indeed was created by community.

About the Author

Caroline Kimrey is currently a Training & OD Specialist at a regional information technology company in the Southeast where she designs and conducts programs for new employees and managers.  She holds an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies, and is passionate about people and fostering meaningful connections.  She is enrolled in Pepperdine University’s Master of Science in Organization Development program, where she has provided consultations in the United States, Europe and Latin America.