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Organizational development is a very important concept that has now been included in most organizations that have a commitment to delivering excellent HR (human resources) practices. However, the field remains little understood, with very few truly understanding what organizational development is actually about. Only a few understand what is actually needed to be done in order to be truly effective. Basically, the field is a new approach, one that is based on values, to a methodological change in organizations.
It can also be applied to communities, where radical change often happens. The goal of organizational development is to ensure organizations are able to build up their capacity so that they are able to achieve a certain state, as well as sustain it. This state should be one that creates great benefit to the organization, and to those whom they influence as well.
There are a number of well-documented areas of best practice within OD.
- Values; striving for values include a number of very clear issues. First off respect and inclusion, meaning that every member of staff is allowed and enabled to have an opinion. This should be listened to and respectfully taken into consideration.
- Collaboration; everybody should be able to work together with the right people at the right time. Authenticity is a third element, which is something that all members of staff should embody, but also encourage in their clients.
- Self-awareness; anybody who works in the organization needs to understand their role in terms of the organization and how their behaviour affects the achievement of a goal. Finally, there is
- Empowerment; which means members of staff are given the tools to build up their own knowledge and expertise and thereby the value they have to the organization.
Organizational development must be fully supported by theory. This means that it should draw from areas of work such as psychology, HR practices, management techniques and various other disciplines to find out how to best implement change and development.
A strong element of it, as well, is known as the complexity theory, which is about understanding why an organization develops a certain way.
 Best Practices in Organization Development and Change: Culture, Leadership, Retention, Performance, Coaching