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Organizational Development and its Importance to Your Business

April 17, 2012, by Stephanie Messier | Work Environment and Policies

Organizational Development (OD) is a strategy intended to change attitudes, values, culture, structure and systems of an organization so that it can better adapt to new technologies, markets and challenges.  Organizational development methods and tools are employed to improve Organizational Effectiveness (OE).

If your profits are down, your performance is weak, the competition is passing you by, and your productivity is waning, OD is an imperative tool for your business.  Through working with your people processes and organizational systems, you can improve performance in individuals, teams and your entire organization using OD methods and tools.

If you are experiencing any of the following in your business then you most likely need an OD intervention: 

  • Key individuals in the organization cannot get along and this is preventing the organization from performing at its peak levels.
  • People are unfocused and unclear about their personal and professional goals, and this is causing wasted energy and ineffectiveness.
  • Teams are performing poorly or ineffectively; teams are being adversarial with other departments or teams.
  • Both quality and customer service levels are poor, turnover is high, complaints are up, employee trust is low and so is morale – all signs that there are major problems in your organization and with your people.
  • Your organization is out of touch with its clients, customers, and suppliers as well external environments that impact your company’s success or failure.

Developing in-house OD expertise is not always a cost-effective solution, especially if you are a growing business.  An OD consultant can help solve problems in processes, systems, teams, individuals, organizational cultures, structures, and design within every area of the organization.  Their role focuses on improving organizational performance and effectiveness through diagnosis and interventions.  The following are some of the actions that an OD consultant performs for an organization:

  • Confronting old ways
  • Helping people get out of comfort zones
  • Helping to achieve an open and trusting environment
  • Providing insights on how to stay on track toward the new vision
  • Providing expertise in teambuilding, systems redesign, and other behavioural interventions
  • Balancing the power in groups and organizations
  • Facilitating different views and perspectives
  • Helping to minimize conflicts
  • Helping to move toward “high performance” teams and processes
  • Helping with a major change
  • Assisting to close the gap between the current state and the positive future state

Working with the right OD expert for your organization will improve your Organizational Effectiveness, resulting in an improved bottom-line.  Additionally, it will give you a better understanding of your organization through an external perspective.

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