Organization Development (OD)

canstockphoto16315439The term organization development has emerged in the popular business press to become a potpourri term, associated with a wide variety of human resource processes and consulting efforts. In our firm we are mostly referring to action-research OD.  This is a collaboratively planned process of survey, feedback, and action-planning follow-through.

Briefly, our process is intended to collect and organize into themes a rich array of work group and/or organizational data including known but not understood, known but undiscussable, and previously unknown.  The areas of focus and methodologies are agreed upon as part of the plan between consultant and executives.

In order to assure the integrity of the process, data will be collected anonymously, the general scope of the project will be explained to the participants, and project feedback (in some form) will provided to those that participate.   The feedback process includes a validity check to verify the accuracy of the data, and this process usually begins at the top of the organization and works its way down.

The feedback This data can be used to create, design, and implement action strategies intended to make lasting changes to productivity, satisfaction, and growth.   The emerging question is, “knowing what we now know, what, if anything, do we want to do about it.”

It is with this intentionality that the process of implementation begins.

For businesses that are interested in benchmarking the integration of their social and technical processes against operations established as highly successful in their industries,  we offer the STS Assessment Survey (Copyright  © 1994 Promethian Systems International). The companies used for benchmarking are mostly manufacturing and distribution plants. The comparison results are organized (client vs. benchmark) using each of the 20 different socio-technical systems factors explored.  This instrument can be helpful as a prelude to focused OD.