This blog isn’t a sales pitch and does not offer a clear and unambiguous solution to all your organisational woes. Instead it is a pick-n-mix of thoughts and experiences that may be useful and could be challenged – I welcome both debate and feedback, it’s where the learning really begins.
I have recently been asked about OD. However so many people have so many different ideas of what Organisational Development the first challenge is to ask what we understand by the term. A quick reference to wiki and the following is suggested.
Organization development (OD) is a field of research, theory and practice dedicated to expanding the knowledge and effectiveness of people to accomplish more successful organizational change and performance
All sounds pretty good stuff to have in any organisation doesn’t it. Indeed we might hope that this is business-as-usual and that an Organisational Development Programme or Consultant should not be required to deliver this.
Hold this thought, I’ll come back to it later.
PEOPLE AND PROCESS
Some businesses are very prescriptive and follow set processes and procedures. Manufacturing would be a good example. Many product based businesses are also processes and procedures based with the end-product (a BMW, iPad or McDonalds Burger) being the product produced as a result of processes and procedures.
Some businesses are less prescriptive and allow greater autonomy for the people to do what they feel is right, to customise the services or respond to the wishes of the client. Typically we might stereotype these businesses as service and/or creative businesses.
This is clearly a simplification for the purpose of discussion, but you might suggest that the former would seek to develop employees who are methodical and compliant and the latter those who are self-starters, maverick and entrepreneurial.
It would be wrong to say you cannot have a mix of these skills, but when creating a culture and developing an organisation there will be some in the majority and some in the minority.
This will affect your bias towards control via processes and procedures or trust in people, who have the skills, understanding and knowledge to shape their efforts in pursuit of the organisational aims. This will affect recruitment and training, rewards and punishments, promotion and employee turn-over.
Hold this thought, I’ll come back to it later.
CONTRACT AND COVENANT
There was a good piece on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme [about 8am 23 July 2016] which talked about new policy for staff to self-certify their sickness and absence from work and the difference between their contract (the legal requirements and rules set between employer and employee) and their covenant (the trust, loyalty and commitment of each to each-other in support of mutual goals)
I know we all benefit from laws, rules, processes and procedures and programmes. They keep us safe on the roads, make the game fair, ensure consistency and quality and help us manage, monitor and progress towards our goals.
I also believe that people like to be trusted and to feel important, rather than be a cog in a big machine, which is what it can feel like in big or small bureaucracies where process appears to triumph over common sense.
So reflecting on the previous sections….
Is Organisational Development about knowledge and effectiveness of people through education on laws, rules, processes and procedures and programmes or by inspiring them to be self-starters, maverick and entrepreneurial in pursuit of the organisational aims.
Is Organisational Development about tightening the grip or loosening the grip, the balance between management (doing things right) and leadership (doing the right things).
PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM
Most businesses are very private about their Organisational Development needs and challenges. However Jersey’s Government is very public about theirs and presents some interesting scenarios for case studies and a good number of initiatives for consideration and evaluation.
•What we have achieved so far
•1 – Lean programme
•2 – e-government
•3 – Workforce modernisation
•4 – Culture
•5 – Modern office
•Priorities for 2014
Some of the above initiatives have worked very well and some less well. Some have worked in other organisations better or worse than they have worked as part of Public Sector Reform. All of them merit consideration in the context or Organisational Development.
What Type Of Organisation Do You Want To Develop?
If you want to follow the Public Sector Reform the link below is a useful resource.
If you are interested in any of the above and would like to contribute to the discussion by posting a comment, or meet with me to chat about your experiences and the issues and opportunities in your organisation I would be delighted to meet and buy the coffee and croissants for an interesting conversation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Rogers is an AMPG Qualified Change Practitioner, a PRINCE2 Project Manager, with an MBA in Management Consultancy. Past projects have included the incorporation of Jersey Post Office, Operations Change and Sales Support for RBSI and NatWest and the integration and incorporation of Jersey Harbours and Airport. He is a tutor/lecturer for the Chartered Management Institute, a past curator for TEDx, Team manager for Jersey’s Triathlon Island Games Team and Performance Director for Jersey Rowing Club.
Source: Adapt Consulting Blog