Organizational Development aligns an organization‘s culture and values with its vision and mission through the use of individual, group-based, or organizational-based interventions.
Individual interventions can be learning-based through training or coaching or means that promote them to become more self-aware and self-reflective. This allows individuals to see how they are similar and different from their colleagues and allows them to build on their collective strengths and mitigate their collective weaknesses using intentional modification.
Group interventions can be learning-based or use group intervention techniques to isolate and minimize group dynamics that can be the cause of less than optimal group performance. Intervention at this level is usually multi-faceted and can be as brief as a one-day workshop or last as long as 1-2 years where implementation is in multiple phases.
Organization interventions often focus on organizational design, organizational structure, vision, mission and culture and requires top management support to implement because of the cost in time and resources.
Insight: OD is a misnomer. Organization Development ought to be Organizational Politics because we are often in the thick of organizational conflict. Conflict management and conflict resolution are the methods used to mitigate conflict. Keep in mind that participants have long memories when it comes to conflicts.
Insight: many Clients will identify training as THE solution to their conflicts. That is seldom the solution in the OD world. Training is but one type of intervention. There are many others, but I think we as a culture believe education and awareness are the best approaches to solve issues of organizational power. Although Americans have a deep-seated cultural belief, “Information is power.” I have a corollary that goes with that. “BUT, Power trumps information every time it’s played.” This is because the most Powerful leader (legitimate or informal) has the ability to re-frame the conflict to the point where the interests of that person’s organizational Power is maintained and advanced…sometimes to the detriment of the employees or organization.
OD is often a counter-measure to organizational power. An OD person must have the ability to speak Truth to Power. Meaning they have to tell the Emperor that they have no clothes on AND they are amazingly inadequate where it counts…when necessary.