Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated March 25, 2021

Organizational Development Definition: What Is It and How Can It Be Used?

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Organizational Development Definition: What Is It and How Can It Be Used?

Organizational Development is one of many new-fangled buzzwords that’s thrown around like there’s no tomorrow.

With this being said, when organizational development is done right, it can help your organization align with the ever-evolving technological landscape that defines the parameters of innovation.

Before we get to how you can use it to your advantage, let’s start by looking at an organizational development definition:

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Organizational Development Definition

Management are commonly unaware of the organizational development definition, which poses the question, how can we make something so easy so difficult?

Actually, the very nature of organizational development owes in its difficulty to clearly define it. It cannot be neatly labeled and wrapped in a box, which is what most analytical people would prefer.

Organizational development is best considered a concept that addresses the bigger picture.

It relates to the complexity of human interactions that make up organizational life. It references a level of obscurity that brings significant mystique with it.

Organizational development references how organizations implement strategies, with the full support and engagement of staff.

We operate in a business world where nothing is static, especially when you consider technology is constantly evolving. Change initiatives are only as good as the staff who drive it, with goals that are only achieved when fully embraced by staff.

Your organizational development strategy must be readily adaptable, whether regarding systems, practices, or culture. To achieve objectives, companies can use various tools and techniques to facilitate positive outcomes.

What Are the Advantages of Good Organizational Development?


Organizational development models work best when there’s an open line of communication with all employees. With proactive dialogue, companies can regularly discuss staff requirements for adapting to marketplace challenges.

This enables staff to react in real-time, which is essential when given the ever-changing digital landscape.

When staff are open to embrace change, and understand what they need to do, they can effectively adapt to current circumstances.

Personal contact with staff makes the process easier, so your company should openly communicate change for your team to be proactive throughout transitional phases.

Constant Renewal

Small businesses who adopt organizational development take a proactive approach to change. They capitalize on transcendence, rather than rejecting it. By creating a culture where change is viewed in a positive light, it builds perpetual renewal in the way you do business.

This encourages staff to embrace change, rather than follow their instinctual nature to reject it.

With a constant renewal approach, staff can adjust to industry demands, and are prepared to tackle whatever obstacles the future throws at them.

Interpersonal Relationships

Organizational development strengthens internal relationships. It will help build rapport between team members, cultivating productive work groups who can unite to meet common goals.

Team building and developing is necessary for reaching overarching objectives, and by improving employee relationships you can boost morale considerably. Motivated staff are less likely to resist change, and more likely to work in alignment with what’s best for the company.

When employee satisfaction is prioritized, there is less employee turnover, where staff understand what’s required of them, and work better as a result. This is facilitated by staff having access to the resources they need to be successful.

Employee Improvement

Employees will get an opportunity to receive ongoing training, which works wonders for their personal development. These skills are transferable to multiple facets of business, but work in conjunction with a rapidly advancing scope.

When staff are willing to invest in employees, there are overarching benefits beyond the obvious competency gains. Staff feel valued, and are incentivized to meet company goals.

This justifies the investment of time and money, as long as all management levels commit wholeheartedly to organizational development.

If staff perceive executives to be uninterested in the change they’re encouraged to support, staff are less likely to welcome change with open arms.

Executives have to lead from the top down. If high-ranking staff are optimistic about change, indicating active endorsement, the team is likely to follow.

Better Communication

Organizational development has communication at its core. It prioritizes regular interactions between front-line staff and management, leveraged alongside active engagement from change leaders.

Staff should contribute feedback to improve change initiatives, to keep them moving in the right direction.

Communication aligns employee objectives with company goals and values. When goals are clearly communicated, staff understand the need for change, and valuable staff input is used to shape an ever-changing vision.

This will ensure staff are constantly considering continuous improvement.

Increased Profit

The ultimate goal in all this is to influence bottom line. When the right measures are taken, organizational development will increase innovation, productivity, and efficiency.

This naturally increases profits, while minimizing the cost of employee turnover. The culture shift of continuous improvement will give your organization a distinct advantage in the marketplace, helping you differentiate from the competition.

We hope you have benefited from the organizational development definition given, and how it can be leveraged for maximum impact. Remember, embrace change to avoid getting left behind!

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