What is organizational development?

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What is organizational development?

Organizational development (OD) relies on a basic understanding that business processes and structures affect employee motivation and efficiency. OD refers to a systematic approach to improving the effectiveness of your processes and knowledge of those in your organization. OD aligns strategy, employees, and processes to create a more successful, adaptable business that is continually improving.

In order to implement OD, a combination of analysis, action planning, and evaluation is needed to prepare for future changes and problem solving. It utilizes behavioral sciences like sensitivity training and ultimately enables an organization to adapt to different markets, regulations, and emerging technologies.

OD is a process of continuous diagnosis, action planning, implementation and evaluation, with the goal of transferring knowledge and skills to organizations to improve their capacity for solving problems and managing future change. – Organizational Development Theory

Organizational development

A useful diagram of what OD looks like from HRPeople

According to the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the key concepts of organizational development theory are organizational climate, organizational culture, and organizational strategies.

Organizational climate refers to the analysis of your current business voice and tone, beliefs, leadership, conflict resolution structures, and how well defined each role is. Organizational culture looks at the norms of the business, including assumptions, values, and behavior.

Organizational strategies refer to the steps that must be taken for OD. These include diagnosis (identifying problems and current situation), action planning (strategic intervention), intervention (implementation), and evaluation (gauging results).

OD must be adopted throughout the entire business, managed from the top of the organization, highly strategic, and increase your organization’s health. For more information, check out the video from the Organization Development Network below.


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