Organizational development is at the heart of innovation. Though traditionally businesses would infrequently change things, today’s climate demands a different approach.
Now companies must regularly change to keep up with ever-evolving consumer demands, and to incorporate the rapidly advancing scope of technology available.
Organizational development is very important if companies are to remain competitive.
But development means change, and change can be met with disapproval in many circles. The friction development causes creates a need to manage change effectively, so it can be introduced seamlessly without resistance.
— Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) October 29, 2018
This is no easy task, but with a measured, well thought-out approach, companies can gain significantly from organizational development.
But how exactly? Before we look at the potency of organizational development interventions, let’s begin by looking at how companies can benefit from organizational development. Here are some top motivations for embracing the concept:
3 Benefits of Organizational Development
Organizational development is a great opportunity for employees to establish rapport.
The improvement process requires working in close proximity with counterparts, a great time to bond and align objectives.
The process itself is rooted in communication, feedback, and interaction. Employees will learn how to communicate among each other, which strengthens the relationship of your team.
This has various direct and indirect benefits, including increased productivity.
When the right communication is promoted, employees will better understand the need to change, as the necessity for organizational development is regularly discussed.
With an open dialogue that proactively involves invested parties, organizations can foster advanced communication skills.
Organizational development is as much about improving staff capabilities as it is about improving business operations.
Staff are after all the most important asset of all, especially since they’re responsible for driving new initiatives.
Organizational development involves influencing your team, while equipping them with the skills they need to be successful in constantly changing markets.
This could involve anything from bringing them up to speed with modern technology, to familiarizing them with advanced techniques and tools.
Companies must regularly educate employees so they’re up to speed with the latest innovations. Learning, training, and skills competencies are a great way to bolster your team, while promoting a continuous improvement philosophy.
Businesses must commit to regular improvement if they’re to remain competitive.
Continuous improvement is a mindset, one which should be embraced if companies are to not only retain their current clientele but gain new customers too.
Companies must grow in alignment with external conditions. Organizational development promotes a continuous cycle of improvement, where companies evaluate, plan, monitor, implement, and improve strategies.
This proactive approach to change positions companies for big achievement, by leveraging change for renewal and embracing it at the core of company culture.
What Are Organizational Development Interventions?
These are structured to help organizations meet specific objectives. An intervention will help you solve a specific problem, and is designed to enable management and improve organizational functioning.
It addresses company culture too, while evaluating problem areas relating to performance, knowledge, skill, will, appraisal, technology, career development, and much more.
Organizational development interventions address an exhaustive list of problems, but will ultimately improve the way businesses address and embrace change initiatives.
There are three main types of interventions your business will need to consider:
Specialists will be equipped to identify the type of intervention needed based on the current state of affairs.
Organizations can then plan to eradicate issues in an effective fashion, using careful planning and consideration to develop the right approach.
When undertaking organizational development interventions, these will usually entail a four step process. The steps are as follows:
Entering and Contracting
This is when your company realizes the need for an intervention. The initial step is the most progressive, because someone has identified the need for change, the need to be helped through an otherwise difficult task.
Companies will then be asked to identify the root cause of the issue, and how the intervention can tackle the heart of the problem. Understanding the problem is one thing, but laying down an effective solution is another story altogether.
Here the magic truly begins to happen. Companies will design an approach to tackle the issue at hand, or intervene as means to proactively fix things.
Your strategy will generate value for your business, helping you transition into new methodologies and mindsets.
When your intervention is ready it must be managed accordingly. If introduced without the structure needed, change can cause chaos deriving from undesired consequences.
Instead, you should establish a focus group who become advocates of change. They will promote the benefits of change, introducing a structured program to be supported from the top down.
To strengthen the relationships of your focus group, you’d be wise to engage them with some interesting change management exercises.
Evaluate your course of actions, to learn whether your approach has been successful. You should assess whether you’ve stayed on track, and tweak your approach according to measured results.
You might need to redesign your approach, but this is part of a continuous development philosophy.
By following these five important steps you’ll have a rough guideline for your intervention. Of course your approach should be tailored on individual circumstances, understanding each case has a unique set of characteristics.