Organizational development (OD) focuses on preparing a company for the future, keeping a business flexible and adaptable enough to fare well through rough weather and changes in the industry. Thanks to the fundamentals of OD, any company can apply it to build a long-lasting brand that can handle unexpected issues throughout time. Here’s how to do it.

Organizational development for the future

Get your managers’ support

When your managers are onboard for the organizational change and restructuring, their team members will be more comfortable with it as well. Management should show support for any changes and be proactive about communicating with their teams to avoid any confusion.

Use data to back it up

Your best employees won’t follow you blindly, you need to present your case for any organizational shift in direction to get their backing. Frame this change simply, so employees know what it means for them, and how they may benefit. Take it a step further and use data to explain why your business needs to prepare for the future with OD, such as recent industry trends, your own marketing metrics, customer satisfaction surveys, and an analysis of competitors.

Get your employees involved

Organizational development may require some restructuring and redesign of different jobs. Get your employees involved during this process to boost morale. If your OD plan involves letting go of a few employees, letting the team members you’ll keep onboard informed will help to avert panic as well.

Your employees will have insight into your company that you may not, since they operate on the ground floor. From customer service, to process implementation, listen to your employee’s feedback and get them involved for smoother OD. You may rework your strategy after hearing what your various teams think of how well your plan will help the business prepare for the future.

Communicate throughout implementation

As your organizational development plan rolls out, each series of changes will be something your team needs to get used to. Continue to communicate and explain the changes, especially those that directly affect how employees perform their jobs. If you don’t, you risk false rumors spreading, and resistance from an uninformed team.

Set and share your timeline

Organizational development, like any well-planned strategy, should take place in timed stages. Set target dates for your key actionables, such as when old software will be phased out, or when trainings will take place. Share these dates with your team early, so that if there are any scheduling conflicts HR can get them sorted out. Plus, your team will be able to coordinate to ensure all your bases are covered during major shifts.

Evaluate and improve

Finally, OD is never done. You’ll need to constantly evaluate and improve your business processes, goals, and perhaps even offerings to stay relevant. Continue to analyze how your changes are going, and adjust where needed for best results.

Final tip: It’s easy to fall into your business comfort zone and do things like you’ve always done, but don’t forget to evaluate whether your “staples” (ie. a particular product, service, or process) have become unnecessary.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick