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Organizational Development: 4 Main Steps and 8 Proven Success Factors

Part 1
What is Organizational Development?

What Is Organizational Development?

Organizational development is the planned and systematic process of changing the organization with an aim of improving its effectiveness. It helps organizations implement changes to improve organization’s structure, strategy, processes, performance, as well as organization’s health and effectiveness in general.

The process of organizational development is done through various programs that are designed to help people develop skills that will lead to increased productivity or improved relationships with others.

Organizational development is a planned effort managed from the top. It differs from other management strategies because it is focused on the people in the organization rather than just the product, and aims to create an environment where all members of an organization can work together to improve their skills, productivity and creativity.

The goal is to change the performance or culture of the organization. The development of an organization as a practice requires the introduction of a continuous and systematic process of effective organizational change as a prerequisite.

The process of implementation is structured, science-baked (including behavioural science knowledge), goal oriented and the results are normally reflected by improved metrics. Depending on the organization’s goals, there are pre-defined metrics that show the effectiveness of the process of organizational development, for example increased customer satisfaction and engagement, better financial performance, improved efficiency and productivity.

The process might include changes in strategy, management, human resources, and technology. Some other things that can be done to improve your organization are: organizational restructuring, business process reengineering and strategic planning.

Organizational development consultants facilitate this type of organizational change and the main stakeholders are both internal and external.

Why do organizations need organizational development?

The importance of organizational development in today’s workplace is evident in the growth of its popularity in MBA programs and its increasing incorporation into leadership development programs for senior executives.

The traditional way to improve organization’s performance was to rely on a change created by a few (top-down vision) by trying something new and seeing what happens, which is risky and rarely triggers sustainable change in a modern complex business landscape.

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With increased complexity of today’s business word, organizations started to rely on science-baked measurable efforts of organizational development process to achieve greatness which improves their competitive advantage. This leads more organizations to adopt such methods and practices to stay competitive in the context of the current business landscape.

 If you want to know if your company needs organizational development, one way is by looking at the culture and seeing how it’s functioning. The culture of an organization is a reflection on its employees and how they operate. A lack in engagement, poor decision making processes or low productivity can all be factors that the culture in your organization is unhealthy and your organization may need some organizational development.

 

Part 2
Goals and Process of Organizational Development

The organizational development goal in general is to promote well-being of its employees in order to increase the overall productivity, and to provide an environment that encourages all levels of employees to reach their full potential in order to meet organizational goals.

Organizational development goals are set by taking into account the company’s mission, vision, and values. Goals should be measurable and achievable within a specified time frame.
The goals associated with organizational development are largely focused on optimization and human resources. The following are some of the key goals associated with organizational development:

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  1. Optimization

    Optimization allows for better efficiency within companies through figuring out what needs aren’t being met anymore or if something could be done differently to facilitate better performance.

  2. Human Resources Development

    This process entails managing an organizations’ employees’ personal growth as they continue to develop their careers in order for them to be more successful at work, while also focusing heavily upon performance management which ensures that each employee meets the expected qualifications.

  3. Performance Management

    The ongoing monitoring of employee performance against agreed standards. It is all about identifying the right team members and making sure they’re equipped for success. This means developing their skills, increasing productivity through better communication or scheduling techniques as well providing resources so that everyone can work more productively without overlapping tasks which will increase efficiency while minimizing costs of wasted time spent on unproductive activities.

Process of Organizational Development

A well-designed organizational development process should be aligned with the company’s strategy, goals, and objectives. The organization development process should also take into account the factors that are beyond the control of leadership, such as market conditions.
There are risks and challenges that come with organizational development. For example, businesses must take into account their competitive advantage if they are considering organizational changes.

There are many aspects that can be improved through organizational development, such as strategy, management, human resources, and technology. Some other things that can be done to improve your organization are oganizational restructuring, business process reengineering, strategic planning.

One of the most important aspects of organizational development is strategic planning. Strategic planning is defined as the process that an organization undergoes to determine its mission, vision, and objectives. It includes analyzing current trends and industry changes to help set priorities for action. The following actions are common in many organizations and may require organizational development:

  • Defining company mission, vision, and values

  • Setting goals and objectives (strategic planning process)

  • Assessing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)

  • Researching future trends

  • Identifying resources needed to carry out strategies

  • Planning for timeline and budget

  • Business process re-engineering

  • HR Development

     

Part 3
Organizational Development: 4 Steps and 8 Success Factors

4 Steps to successful organizational development:

  1. Vision and goal setting

    Organizational development goals are set by taking into account the company’s mission, vision, values, and performance targets.

    Ask yourself what your goal is for the organizational development project. Do you want to improve customer service? Reduce production costs? Whatever it is, identify that goal before you start the project so that you know how to measure its success: goals should be measurable and achievable within a specified time frame.

    Next, decide on an approach for the project. You can either go bottom-up or top-down with this decision. It all depends on what your goals are and how detailed of an analysis you want to do.

  2. Analysis of current work processes and re-engineering of work processes

    Organizational development examines each task in an organization and looks at its efficiency and accuracy. The process evaluates how much overlap or underserved tasks are in the organization.

    This can be done through examining each task in the company, looking at how much overlap or underserved tasks may exist within different departments/divisions; implementing quality control measures for increased efficiency and profitability; implementing training programs for employees on job responsibilities so they’re better able carry out their assigned duties efficiently without having any gaps.

  3. Action planning and implementation

    One of the most important aspects when implementing an organizational development plan is action planning. There need to be clear steps that will lead up until you reach your goals.

    Action planning should be done by managers who understand how changes in their area will affect other departments or aspects of the business as a whole.

    This step often includes the process of restructuring management teams.

    Restructuring your management team can be done in a number of ways. You might want to create a new position as part of reorganizing your management team which would help you reach your new goals and objectives. This also has the added benefit of eliminating any redundant positions.

    Another way to restructure your management team is by creating teams that work together more closely on certain aspects of business operations, such as marketing or finance.

    Restructuring your management team may lead to an improved organizational development process and better organization performance over time.

    Staff development is an essential and necessary step in the OD process. This includes training and work process improvement to help everyone keep up with changing needs. The focus is on ensuring that people have a sense of belonging, recognition, support and value in the workplace. This leads to changes in organizational culture, management style and employee engagement levels.

  4. Evaluation and control

    It is the process of identifying targets, assessing performance with respect to these targets, taking corrective action when necessary, and evaluating success.

    This step is an integral part of an effective organizational development process. It involves regularly assessing how well the organization is meeting its goals, and making changes as necessary to ensure that it continues to do so.

    It is also important to monitor employee satisfaction levels and make adjustments as needed to keep employees motivated and productive.

    The data helps managers identify strengths and weaknesses so they can make adjustments accordingly. It can be used to track the progress of individual projects as well as the overall organization. This allows the organization to continue improving its performance while avoiding any negative effects that might occur if changes are not made in a timely manner.

OD project: 8 success factors

The process of organizational development is based on the principle that organizations are complex systems, which are constantly in flux. There are many different ways to approach organizational development, but the most important thing is to be aware of the need for change to avoid stagnation or decline.
Your organizational development strategy should be based on your assessment of which system in your organization needs the most attention. The key is to use the tools available to you to help you assess different systems and ensure that the desired outcomes are achieved.

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Here are 8 proven tips for successful organizational development process:
1. Establish Goals
2. Create an Action Plan
3. Get Buy-In from Employees
4. Provide Leadership Training
5. Engage in Active Listening
6. Recognize People’s Contributions
7. Create a Support Network
8. Undergo Regular Evaluations

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