Organisational Development

Organisational development is a people focused discipline, a systematic approach to building and improving organisational performance and effectiveness.

It aligns strategy, people and processes organisation wide to develop a concerted, sustained, effort to streamline and optimise performance using behavioural science theories. Organisational Development is sometimes confused with Change Management, which in my opinion is about managing a one -off specific change. It enables people to understand what is about to happen, and is happening around them, so that they embrace the change, manage it, and adopt new policies, practices, and behaviors. It may be used in mergers and acquisitions of companies or departments

We have looked at Change Management in these three modules. There’s a quiz too.
It is worth refreshing your memory about this key skill.

Change Management Lessons

In the first module accelerating change in society and at work we consider the changing face of business and society today and its implication for the need to handle change well.

Then in organisational change we consider why many people fear change, how communication and inclusion by management can make it easier to handle. We view graphically how people move through disruption towards rebuilding as the changes take effect

And in change management principles We consider the principles that will allow a leadership team to manage change effectively
Then we offer you the opportunity to test your knowledge of the subject
change management quiz

Difference between Change Management and Organisational Development

For me, the key difference is that Organisational Development is a continuous commitment to improving organisational effectiveness, whilst Change Management is a process designed to streamline a specific event.

Evolution of Organisational Development

Organisational development has evolved from 1930s Human Relations studies when psychologists realized that organisational structures and processes can, and do, influence worker behaviour and motivation. It requires management buy- in at the very highest level, and OD practitioners view it as part of the fabric and culture of the organisation, that is not limited to the HR function but pervades the organisation. They argue this produces a win situation for both the staff and the organisation.

It calls for management of continuing planned change as the organisation continues to evolve in response to evolving markets and products. Practitioners promote high performance in every function of the business including financial results, quality of products and services, productivity, and quality of working life.

Organisational development embraces disciplines such as sociology, systems thinking, psychotherapy, applied behavioral sciences, group dynamics, business process re-engineering, coaching, and team development.

By the late 1960s it had come to imply the management and development of the behavioural aspects of people in organisations, focusing on people and inter- personal relations. In time it came to be seen as a fad, and some managers felt threatened by its emphasis on openness and change

Where it is used successfully it’ s emphasis is in aligning processes across the organisation, regardless of functional boundaries. The aim is to build processes that do not need to continually be reviewed by OD practitioners because they have wrought a fundamental change in attitude and mindset, and align strategy with the company values.