Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated March 24, 2021

What Does It Take to Become an Organizational Development Specialist

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What Does It Take to Become an Organizational Development Specialist

Organizations must transform if they’re to stay relevant. We’re very much part of a digital revolution, which must be driven by mindful individuals who are capable of continuous improvement.

Initiatives should be readily adjustable, met by staff who are willing to embrace change. When companies fail to grow with the times they usually end up losing their competitive edge.

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Progression is everything. A company that fails to transition is one accused of being stuck in the past.

But organizational development must be led and executed by competent staff with specific skill sets. This philosophy has slowly created a new avenue for prospective employees, who can specialize in new fields of excellence.

To work as an organizational development specialist you need a specific skill set. Employees must be trained accordingly, so they’re capable of tackling the myriad of challenges that arise on a daily basis.

Though change is necessary, it’s also very difficult to implement. By leveraging the expertise of staff who have trained in the discipline, change is more likely to be successful.

The main objective is to grow, improve, and most importantly sustain change.

Are you cut out for a career as an organizational development specialist?

If you’re interested to find out, you’ll be pleased to discover the great insight below. By the end of this article you’ll know whether the field is for you.

Let’s kick things off with a base definition of organizational development:

What is Organizational Development?

Organizational development is a field which was established in the 1930s. The concept has evolved somewhat since then, especially with the uprising of digital expansion.



Ultimately, organizational development is concerned with increasing organizational efficiency. This can be achieved with behavioral science knowledge, alongside the effective implementation of digital processes.

It is a process designed to make businesses better, comprising everything from organizational cultureorganizational culture to sustainable long-term change.

Change consultants are commonly hired to alleviate the process, and can leverage advanced knowledge to help organizations improve.

They’ll introduce various unique methods to boost staff engagement, which are great for uniting teams towards a common a goal.

What is Organizational Development For?

It is for transferring knowledge, while improving a company’s capacity for problem solving.

When carefully considered it will help organizations manage change successfully, which when implemented without proper structure can wreak havoc.

As an organizational development specialist you’ll be perfectly aligned to affect change.

You’ll assess and identify organizational climate and culture, while serving as an instrumental component of company strategy.

If you’re interested in developing organizational capability, perhaps you should pursue a career as an organizational development specialist.

What Does Being An Organizational Development Specialist Involve?

It is a very varied role, one which will keep you on your toes. If it’s variety and excitement you seek, this is probably the perfect role for you.

Once employed your first responsibility will be evaluating company culture and business operations. This will help you gain clarity around the way your business operates.

You’ll be capable of leveraging your expertise to assess organizational capability, and the measures you can take to improve strategy.

Your recommended methods are designed to improve teamwork, or perhaps strengthen the relationships of employees in the workforce.

Improving a company’s operations if a big responsibility, but if you’re up for the challenge there could be a hefty salary in it for you.

Research from Glassdoor suggests the average organizational development specialist salary is a quite staggering $76,278. The median salary is considerably more in New York, at $86,560.

With opportunities for progression in the field, the scope for a salary increase improves dramatically.

What Do You Need To Do To Become An Organizational Development Specialist?

Though there are varied paths to reach your destination, there are two critical elements to empower yourself to greatness: time and work.

In fact, time and work are essential to achieve anything in life. As a relatively new field, one that’s emerging, many colleges don’t offer bachelor’s degrees in organizational development.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t study a related degree before taking a Master’s, where you can then specialize in organizational development.

Holding a degree in a relevant field is a springboard to studying a Master’s in organizational development, because there are overlapping principles which will position you for success.

Here are some steps to becoming an organizational development specialist:

  • Study a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • Find a job within the organizational development space, or at least one that’s relevant to the discipline.
  • Master advanced techniques which will help you be successful.
  • With the experience and confidence gained, put your skills into practice and address organizational issues.
  • Study a Master’s or Doctorate in organizational development
  • Receive official accreditation by getting certified. This can be achieved by joining a professional association.
  • Continue to expand your knowledge in a constantly changing business world. Keep up to  date with the latest technological trends.
  • Network to find your dream job!

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