OD, Organisation Development, Organisational Development or Organisation Design… it’s becoming a catch-all phrase to describe any sort of business change, typically related to developing a constructive workplace culture.

A simple way to look at OD for your organisation is to think in terms of what outcomes you want to achieve.

The University of Canterbury describes the goal of organisational development as enabling and growing a culture that drives an organisation’s strategic goals. It’s about aligning the human potential within an organisation with wider business outcomes.

With this definition in mind, what are you doing within your organisation to help people function better?

A good place to start in your OD journey is to analyse the gap between desired state and future state. Think in terms of your workforce design, culture, behaviours and working practices and processes and whether these are set up in a way that drives your overall business strategy.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your business have a continuous cycle of improvement whereby strategies are planned, implemented, evaluated, improved and monitored?
  • Is communication open across all levels of your business, with relevant feedback shared and employees aligned to your company goals?
  • Do you have a system of regularly enhancing the skills of your people to meet evolving market requirements?
  • Do you reward success?
  • Are your employees encouraged to be creative and innovative?
  • What is your employee turnover and absenteeism like?
  • If understanding what is happening within an organisation is the first step, then the next is intervening to try and create positive change. This is a leadership function. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that it’s the exclusive responsibility of the human resources team in your business.

Broader OD initiatives may require a change of procedures and structures from an individual job through to an entire organisation. It’s about aligning structural, cultural and strategic aspects of your business to respond to your external environment.

There are however, many organisational development initiatives that cost almost no money at all. Any activity that is aimed at expanding knowledge, challenging assumptions and encouraging links between people can make a small but noticeable difference – ask an employee for feedback, encourage teaching and learning between people, encourage ‘fun’ within your business.

A well-structured OD strategy has the power to dramatically improve your business as well as the wellbeing of your people. As a business leader, it deserves your attention. What makes companies great is the ability to channel the potential of their employees to produce desirable products and services, resulting in lasting performance outcomes for a company.

Need help?

If you are looking for direction and assistance on evolving the human talent within your business to move forward, get in touch with us. We’d love to chat.

The Decipher Team

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