Organizational development is concerned with facilitating change in organizations through a holistic and humanistic approach that puts people at the heart of the process.
Organizational Development is the work of facilitating organizational success, by aligning structural, cultural, and strategic realities of work to respond to the needs of an ever-evolving business climate.
At the heart of good organizational development is the deep connection between the best business processes and structures on the one hand, and the people working within the organization on the other. In short, it is to create great organizations!
What is Organizational Development trying to fix?
To achieve high performance and competitive advantage, organizations are often amid significant learning and change.
In traditional organization and leadership theory, the inspirational, top-down vision for the organization is supposedly created by a few and thrust upon the many.
Such change initiatives may result in a successful change of procedures and structures (the easier bit), but rarely trigger a sustainable change in working methods, culture, and organizational effectiveness which is at the root of real return on investment, profitability, and long-term transformation. Organizational Development is an area of expertise that addresses this challenge with decades of internationally tried and tested research and practice, spanning thousands of professionals.
Characteristics of Organizational Development include but not limited to:
- Changes to the structure, culture, strategy, and processes of an individual job to an entire organization.
- The application of behavioral science knowledge and practice to facilitate transformation within an organization.
- The improvement of organizational effectiveness by involving members of the organization in understanding the challenge whilst enabling in their new skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking.
- The promotion of high productivity, performance, quality products, financial performance, and continuous improvement.
- The facilitation of change in a flexible, adaptive, and often participative way.
- Sustainability, so consistent change in the right direction continues beyond the life of the initial change initiative.
It also operates from a particular set of values that shape how the work is done. Key to this is the valuing of human potential and therefore the importance of understanding the systemic challenges from a range of stakeholders and then engaging those stakeholders directly in shaping the change, partly so that change is well conceived of but also so that, through broad ownership, its chance of being understood and implemented are maximized.
The Benefits of Organizational Development
Organizational Development is adaptive, flexible, and evolving. It puts people at the heart of change,
emphasizes creativity and innovation, and positively affects the bottom line.
- It creates a continuous cycle of improvement, from strategy, through to implementation, evaluation, and further change.
- It enhances communication across all levels of the organization, aligning employees to shared values and manifesting change from employee feedback
- It also brings about innovation through employee development and engagement and effective analysis of the market.
- It increases profit by improving productivity and creativity, reducing costs, minimizing staff turnover, and creating a culture of openness and adaptive and ongoing change.
However, it’s a good practice that leaders and managers of an organization incorporate the culture of organizational development in their system management. they should also know that development is a continues process and it should touch every aspect of their organization for profitability and success.
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