Organisation Development

by Rosie Stevens

Common questions

  1. What is OD?
  2. What difference does it make?
  3. What about cost?

 

1. What is OD?

It’s a strategic and wide-ranging, as well as practical, approach to helping organisations and their people to anticipate, lead and manage change successfully, while developing their people, culture and systems so they can deliver their goals, products and services.

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2. What difference does it make?

An effective OD strategy and OD specialist can help make a huge difference to the organisation and its people. You’d expect to see

  • People becoming better performers, more highly motivated and noticeably developing their skills, capabilities and potential
  • Organisational performance and service delivery improving
  • Other things, such as innovation, creativity, participation and enjoyment of work can also show dramatic improvement and impact directly on products and services.

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3. What about cost?

There is inevitably a cost to the significant investment of time, resources and development (of both the strategies and people) that is involved and this is often used as a reason or an excuse not to do it. However, research shows that this investment does pay off for organisations, provided that

  • The leaders of the organisation are totally committed to it and are clear what they want it to achieve
  • It is communicated well and people at all levels are consulted throughout the process and have the opportunity to participate and be involved
  • The resource is made available (and is not suddenly withdrawn)
  • The organisation employs a good OD specialist (either internal or external)
  • A highly effective diagnosis is conducted
  • The strategy that is subsequently developed is delivered over a realistic timescale (in other words, not overnight but over a period of months and years)
  • Its impact is reviewed and evaluated periodically against the agreed expected achievements and outcomes and within agreed timescales.

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