In times of turbulent and continuous change, successful executives and managers have learned that to maintain and improve productivity they must be skilful at designing ways to help people and groups adapt quickly. as well as helping them to become resilient by They are also aware that there is a strategic advantage in having an entire organization which is capable of collective and ongoing learning. Organizational Development consultants marry their knowledge of social and behavioral sciences with a systems perspective to design and facilitate strategic approaches which will build the organization’s overall effectiveness, as well as its adaptability. O.D. consultants work with management teams to help them understand and shape collaborative approaches to complex issues such as restructuring, rapid growth or downsizing. They develop strategies and interventions that are designed to develop and improve collective problem-solving, conflict management, organizational learning, teamwork and collaboration. They also develop interventions which address the need for culture change associated with changes in business strategy. O.D. effects change by expanding people’s ideas, beliefs, and behaviors so that they can apply new approaches to old problems, or emerging issues. In some cases organization development supports “gamma change” — a radical shift from status quo to a new paradigm.
Who Can Benefit?
By definition organization development initiatives have a broad focus on an entire company, a business division, or large unit. It is long-range in perspective and is not a ‘quick-fix’ strategy for solving short-term performance problems. In many organizations it is coupled with strategic business planning, and needs to be supported by top managers — ie. those who control an organization’s resources and reward systems. O.D. change efforts go beyond employee-training interventions and concentrate on the work group or organization in which new ideas, beliefs, or behaviors are to be applied.
How do COREVIS Organization Development Consultants work?
COREVIS consultants begin by first helping the executive team or a change agent team identify the areas where change is desired and work to clarify issues surrounding the initiative as well as gaining commitment to a change effort. Often the Consultant team gathers information about the readiness of groups in the system, working to surface and explore underlying assumptions and sources of resistance. Then through a process of facilitating feedback and planning meetings the consultants develop and design a participatory strategy for address the specific change initiative. This usually includes some workshops which will help change teams develop the skills required to support implementation, and to address the natural resistance which will arise. Throughout the initiative our consultants work to ensure that the organization not only learns how to work within the changing environment, but to help develop the organization’s capacity to address change by drawing on the knowledge and skill they have developed through their experiences. Depending on the type and scope of change that is needed, various types of assessment tools and instruments are employed to provide information on change readiness, organizational culture elements, and management/employee support of a change initiative.
When is OD Successful?
There is no perfect measure of success to Organization Development initiatives; however, generally speaking OD is more effective when the following conditions exist:
At least one key decision maker in the organization perceives a need or driver for change and top managers are not actively opposed.
Management is willing to commit to long-term improvement initiatives
Managers and employees are willing to be open-minded about key assumptions and accept the notion that change is needed.
A reasonable level of trust and cooperation exist in the organization. (Of course this is difficult to define).
Top management is willing to provide the resources necessary to support expertise either inside or outside the organization.
Five Keys to Implement Change Successfully
We have discovered that these keys are significant indicators towards the success or failure of an organization development initiative, and these keys form the principles that we draw on:
The change needs to be clearly based in business strategy and business needs.
The change initiative needs to balance careful planning with flexibility —many plans need to be further adapted once the change initiative has begun.
The change should not rely exclusively on outside expertise — building capacity to change needs to be included in the strategy;
The change should be clearly focused, and visible to all — trying to create change plans and strategies without broad stakeholder involvement will guarantee failure;
The change must be strategy driven rather than project driven—this is linked to #1, but needs to address the systemic aspects of change, rather than attempting a piecemeal approach.