Understanding Organizational Development
Organizational Development (OD) is the process of improving the profitability, quality of work life, morale and productivity in an organisation. It seeks to optimize the symbiotic relationship between employee satisfaction and organizational success. OD interventions therefore seek to influence the relationship of individuals and groups towards creating a positive impact on the organization as a system.
Features of an Effective OD Process
For an OD process to be effective, there are fundamental characteristics that it must depict. These include;
- Alignment to the organization and business objectives.
- Long-range and ongoing process.
- Well cemented in the behavioral sciences.
- It must be results-based.
- It must be systems oriented.
- It should be a collaborative process.
Components of an OD Process
Being a process, OD is characterized by several phases, each of which is characterized by its own unique undertakings. OD can be applied at varying depths and vastness and as such, some of these phases are short-term and shallow while others are comprehensive and requiring more time, resources and effort. These phases include; entry, start-up, assessment and feedback, action planning, implementation, evaluation, adoption and separation.
Optimally, the OD process should always seek to enhance learning among all pertinent stakeholders. Learning is an attribute of adaptive organizations or organizations that are perpetually able to sense change within both the internal and external environments and adapt accordingly.
Picture courtesy of the South African Development Network