What In the World is OD?

What in the World is OD?


The other day I was having a conversation with another OD professional and we were laughing at the fact that most people do not know what Organisational Development is as a profession, what Organisational Developers do and how OD can benefit them and their organisation. Only ‘ODs’ themselves!

I was trained at Roffey Park, who define Organisational Development as ‘the work of facilitating organisational success by aligning structural, cultural and strategic realities of work to respond to the needs of an ever-evolving business climate’. I put it more simply: Organisational Development is all about improving the health and effectiveness of businesses and organisations. It puts people at the centre of the process and facilitates change, whilst holding on to best business and organisational practices and strategies.

In the current volatile climate, businesses, charities and all types of organisations are having to be highly innovative and adaptive just to stay afloat, let alone be successful! Utilising every resource and having people and processes aligned to fulfil the mission and mandates of the organisation has never been more important. Leaders and managers are often so involved with the work at hand and the pressures involved that they need a safe place to explore ideas and solutions and the support of a skilled facilitator. A fresh pair of eyes can often see more clearly how to translate vision, build healthy culture, motivate, release and equip staff, manage resources effectively and be adaptive to their ever-changing market. In essence, an effective organisational developer can be an invaluable and cost-effective asset.


What does an Organisational Developer do?

The primary role of an OD consultant is to establish healthy relationships within the organisation (between individuals and groups) to achieve objectives. This might involve the OD practitioner playing a variety of roles. These could include guiding and facilitating teams, acting as a partner to key decision makers on transformation projects and a sounding board to senior staff, or providing coaching and a safe place to share ideas. The type of work undertaken depends on the organisation, its goals, where they are now and where they want to get to.

Why would it benefit me to bring an OD Consultant into my business or organisation?

An OD Consultant can bring huge benefits:

  • They bring a fresh pair of eyes to company strategy.

  • Their job is to get the best out of people in the organisation.

  • As consultants they can be budgeted for, allowing even small and medium sized organisations to access their professional expertise. They don’t have a stake in or an agenda for the organisation and should have a heart to see every voice and stakeholder heard. They assist groups to function in a healthy and effective way.

  • They will have a range of experience with different types of organisation, bringing a wide skill set to the table.

  • The scope of the work can be large or small. In collaboration with the leaders, work is tailored to the organisation to fit within their budget, goals and time frame. It brings invaluable relational support and a framework to enable leaders to fulfil their vision without killing themselves, the people who work for them or the organisation which they want to succeed.

If you are wondering if OD might be of help to you, your company or organisation, please contact me for a free initial consultation to explore how I might be able to make you and your organisation great!

Making You Great