organizational development

Organizational development (OD) is a field that helps improve organizational effectiveness with a major focus on change management and strategic initiatives. Put simply, OD helps organizations overcome challenges and maximize change at work. Organizational development is an area presenting one of the largest opportunities for companies right now. Unfortunately, organizational development is an area that is often under-prioritized and under-utilized.

How Does Organizational Development Manage Change?

Change is often intimidating, confusing and difficult, yet it is crucial for organizations to maximize change efforts in order to stay relevant and competitive. Utilizing organizational development strategies can help to combat the challenges associated with change while also leveraging it to make better business decisions.

OD specialists utilize industry research and data to create a strategic plan to help employees effectively work through new implementations. A new implementation could be anything from a new process to a new technology to a cultural change and anything in between. Organizational development takes into consideration how employees will react to change. There could be push back, fear, confusion, lack of productivity, loss in morale, injury and turnover all associated with major changes in an organization. When employees are made a priority during the change process, they are much better equipped to adapt.

OD specialists help combat any potential issues associated with organizational change and help employees make a seamless transition by minimizing the learning curve, improving communications, involving them in the change process and ensuring strategic alignment.

When Can Organizational Development Be Utilized?

Organizations go through changes efforts all the time with hopes of improving effectiveness and maximizing profits. However, these change efforts can be threatened if key stakeholders and employees are not taken into consideration when making significant changes.

OD Specialists assist organizations globally with:

  • Performance management
  • Culture change
  • Technology changes/implementations
  • Staffing changes
  • Downsizing
  • New training initiatives
  • Operational changes
  • Marketing and rebranding
  • Diversity initiatives
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Most (if not all) strategic changes an organization undergoes affects its employees. While it’s great to invest in new technology or processes, ignoring the impact these changes will have on employees is a recipe for disaster. It is imperative to properly assist employees through change in order to ensure the organization’s time and investment is not wasted. Organizational development specialists have the skills to assess an organization’s readiness and capability to change. Coupled with the organization’s readiness for change, the unique culture each organization possesses will impact what change management techniques need to be employed for maximum success.

The field of organizational development helps these change efforts run more smoothly, happen more quickly, and be more effective by investing in the well-being of an organization’s most vital asset: their employees.