Autumn is about New Beginnings


By Nancy Zentis, Ph.D., CEO, Institute of OD


Autumn is about starting new beginnings and change… Have you started to plan for your new beginnings?

Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Life-long learning involves social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, self-sustainability, and self-actualization, striving to be the best, career competitiveness and employability.

  • Are you ready for the future? Do you have what it takes to succeed?
  • Do you consider yourself to be a life-long learner?


The pace of change is accelerating, and it’s estimated that 70 percent of all new jobs have not yet been invented.  Jobs in the future will require us to embrace life-long learning in order to keep up with the pace, work collaboratively with diverse people on multiple continents, and invent new ways of working together to solve new problems and impact changing organizations.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

Some of the most successful people in the world are life-long learners.  They adopt a mindset of lifelong learning to become the best they can be to maintain a cutting edge above the rest.  A few noted life-long learners are Walt Disney, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bill Gates, Shaquille O’Neal, and Barack Obama, and two Hollywood Stars – Natalie Portman, and Emma Watson.  Surprisingly missing from the list are women who are dedicated to lifelong learning – which I find surprising as the 72 % of females obtaining college degrees exceeds the number of males – 65.7 %.

As Brian Tracy says, “Your ability to expand your mind and strive for lifelong learning is critical to your success. By dedicating yourself to learning, you can achieve all of your lifelong goals. All it takes is a commitment.”   The most successful people read an average of 2-3 hours per day. They belong to organizations that value and benefit from learning and keeping current in new ideas and sharing information.

Knowledge is critical to success.  Your ability to expand your mind and devote yourself to lifelong learning is the key to breaking any success barriers that may be in front of you.

Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperativeThe key is to acquire new skills before the old ones become obsolete.

“Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment,” says Andrew Palmer, The Economist.  Many experts suggest that while college provides a pathway that leads to higher paying jobs, the ability to increase wages rates over the last 12 years has decreased.  The current trend is to find alternative ways to acquire new skills and experience to be eligible for higher paying jobs and career opportunities.  To be successful, you need to be prepared for change.


How can you become a life-long learner – dedicate yourself to continuous self-learning and personal growth?  It takes commitment, drive, energy, and also determination, and patience.


  • Are you a lifelong learner? Do you have the skills to keep current of changes into today’s job market?  Did you know that half of leading organizations (55%) consider lifelong learning a priority?


  • What are you doing to achieve your lifelong learning goals? Do you have a learning plan for your future?


The best advice we can give to those interested in entering the field of Organization Development is to be committed to lifelong learning.  You’ll need to be well versed and up to date on business, strategy, influence skills, change management, process improvement, measurement, human interaction techniques, assessments instruments, data analysis, teamwork, and conflict.  There are over 65 OD interventions and tools, and it is necessary to understand the new trends in the field in order to excel.

Here are some tips to get started on your learning journey:

  1. Keep up to date with your current field. Read a current book or blog, attend a professional meeting, research current topics, network.
  2. Learn something new to add new skills and knowledge to your tool bag. Do something you’ve never tried before.  Attend an online training program and acquire new knowledge.
  3. Test your assumptions or beliefs about something you thought to be true and challenge yourself to change. When looking to increase your ability to be more innovative, try thinking out of the box.
  4. Do some research and identify learning opportunities in your field. Find out what the skill requirements are and where there are job opportunities.
  5. Make a commitment to taking a journey of learning and recognize it as a key to lifelong success.
  6. Identify your strengths, identify your improvement areas, and create measurable goals and action plans.
  7. Discuss with a mentor or coach. Gain feedback.
  8. Start the journey! Set the plan in motion and measure the results.


Learn how you can gain a Certification in Organization Development!


Gaining a certification shows your commitment to your profession and prepares you for greater opportunities to build your reputation as an expert in your field. 


How do credentials help you advance in your career?   A current trend in recruitment suggests that as part of the hiring process, recruiters are looking for people who have additional professional credentials to determine if the candidate has the background and experience required for the job based on a set of industry standards and competencies.

Employers are looking for qualified candidates who hold recognized credentials to assure that they are highly competent. Having a credential can help to increase career opportunities and earning potential.  Certifications also provide a sense of professional and personal achievement.  Individuals benefit by being a part of a larger community of practitioners who are committed to higher ethical standards and professionalism.


The Institute of Organization Development offers online OD Certification Programs and Professional Development webinars to help continue your lifelong learning journey.


65% of the participants who have completed our OD certification programs have achieved a high return on their investment in learning – through career advancement, promotions, and new career opportunities.” Dr. Nancy Zentis, CEO, IOD.


Select an opportunity to meet your needs:


  • Attend one of IOD’s free webinars to learn more about the field of OD.
  • Attend one of IOD’s Professional Development Workshops to gain valuable skills and tools that can be applied immediately.
  • Join, IOD’s Professional Network and attend events, and gain access to OD tools.
  • Connect with one of our professional OD staff members and receive coaching on how you can create your career plan.
  • Attend one of IOD’s Certification Programs and gain a certification in only 8 months. We offer 8 different Certification Programs each offering 24 HRCI credits.


Make lifelong learning a priority for 2019!  Register today or contact us to at to discuss your learning journey.



Happy Fall!


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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Strategies

DE&I consulting services focus on helping organizations foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Consultants assess the organization's current DE&I initiatives, develop DE&I strategies and policies, conduct training on unconscious bias and cultural competence, establish employee resource groups, and guide leaders in creating inclusive leadership practices. They work with organizations to attract and retain diverse talent, create inclusive hiring processes, and implement programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. DE&I consultants aim to create an environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and have equal opportunities for growth.

Organizational Development Consulting

Organizational development (OD) consulting services focus on helping leaders lead change initiatives to improving organizational effectiveness and results. Consultants work closely with leaders to assess the organization's current state, identify areas for improvement, create action plans and design interventions, and implement changes to enhance employee engagement, teamwork, leadership development, and organizational culture. They facilitate strategic planning, conduct organizational assessments, and implement initiatives such as talent management, succession planning, performance management, and employee training and development programs. OD consultants aim to align people, processes, and systems to drive sustainable organizational growth and change.

Mentoring Program

Mentoring Programs involve establishing formal or informal relationships between experienced employees (mentors) and less experienced employees (mentees) within an organization. Consultants assist organizations in designing and implementing mentoring programs that facilitate knowledge transfer, skill development, and career growth. They establish mentoring guidelines, match mentors and mentees based on specific criteria, provide training and resources for mentors, and monitor the progress of the mentoring relationships. Mentoring programs aim to enhance employee development, engagement, and retention by leveraging the expertise and wisdom of experienced professionals.

Performance Management

Performance Management involves establishing systems and processes to monitor, assess, and improve employee performance. Consultants work with organizations to design and implement performance management frameworks that align with organizational goals and values. This includes setting clear performance expectations, defining key performance indicators (KPIs), establishing regular feedback and coaching mechanisms, conducting performance evaluations, and linking performance outcomes to rewards and recognition. Performance management systems aim to drive individual and team performance, align employee efforts with organizational objectives, and support employee development.

Job Redesign/Analysis

Job Redesign/Analysis is the process of reevaluating and modifying job roles and responsibilities to optimize efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Consultants analyze existing job descriptions, tasks, and workflows to identify opportunities for improvement. They may conduct job analyses to determine essential skills, competencies, and qualifications required for each role. Based on these findings, consultants provide recommendations for job redesign, such as clarifying roles and responsibilities, redistributing tasks, and implementing automation or technology solutions to streamline processes and enhance job satisfaction.

Executive Coaching, Competency Development, 360° Feedback

Executive Coaching, Competency Development, and 360 Feedback are individual-focused strategies that aim to enhance leadership and professional effectiveness. Consultants provide executive coaching services to senior leaders, offering personalized guidance, support, and feedback to help leaders develop their strengths, address developmental areas, and enhance their leadership capabilities. Competency development involves identifying and developing specific skills and competencies required for success in particular roles or functions. 360-degree feedback involves collecting feedback from multiple sources, including peers, subordinates, and superiors, to provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual's strengths and areas for improvement.

Culture Strategies

Culture Strategies focus on shaping and transforming the organizational culture to create a positive and productive work environment. Consultants assist organizations in assessing their current culture, identifying areas for improvement, and developing strategies to align the culture with the desired values, behaviors, and goals. This may involve initiatives such as defining core values, establishing cultural norms, enhancing communication and collaboration practices, promoting diversity and inclusion, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Talent Management Strategies

Talent Management Strategies involve designing and implementing initiatives to attract, develop, engage, and retain top talent within an organization. Consultants work with organizations to develop comprehensive talent management strategies that encompass recruitment and selection processes, onboarding programs, performance management systems, career development frameworks, succession planning, and employee retention strategies. The goal is to ensure the organization has the right people in the right roles, with opportunities for growth and development that align with their skills and aspirations.

Career Planning/High Potentials

Career Planning/High Potentials initiatives involve designing strategies and programs to support employees in planning and advancing their careers within the organization. Consultants work with organizations to establish career development frameworks, provide guidance on career paths and progression opportunities, and assist in identifying and nurturing high-potential employees. They may offer career counseling, development planning, and training programs to enhance employees' skills, competencies, and knowledge needed for career growth. Career planning initiatives aim to engage and retain talented individuals by providing them with a clear path for advancement and professional development.

Change Management

Change management consulting services support organizations in managing and implementing significant organizational changes. Consultants help identify change management strategies and plans, assess the impact of change, and design effective communication and training programs to support employee adoption and buy-in. They work with leaders and teams to overcome resistance, address cultural and behavioral challenges, and foster a positive change culture. Change management consultants provide guidance throughout the change process, ensuring a smooth transition and successful adoption of new processes, systems, or structures.

Organization Change (OCM) Strategy

Organization Change Management (OCM) Strategy refers to the planned approach or roadmap that an organization follows to implement and manage changes within its structure, processes, technologies, or culture. OCM strategies involve identifying the need for change, setting goals, creating a plan, and executing and evaluating the change process. Organization Change Consulting involves developing and implementing effective strategies to manage and navigate organizational change. The consultant focuses on helping organizations transition smoothly from their current state to a desired future state, considering various factors such as technology advancements, market shifts, mergers and acquisitions, or internal restructuring. Consultants specializing in OCM work closely with organizational leaders to identify OCM processes and help implement a consistent approach to change management, and train internal consultants to lead change management projects and provide support throughout the change process. Consultants may develop assessments, develop communication and training programs, and provide guidance on change implementation to ensure successful organizational transitions. OCM design typically includes steps such as stakeholder analysis, communication and training plans, risk assessment, and monitoring progress to ensure a smooth transition and successful adoption of the changes.

Human Resources Strategies

Human resources (HR) consulting services assist organizations in optimizing their HR practices and processes. Consultants work with HR departments to enhance talent acquisition and retention strategies, develop compensation and benefits programs, design performance management systems, implement employee engagement initiatives, and ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations. They may also provide guidance on organizational restructuring, workforce planning, employee relations, and HR technology implementation. HR consultants help organizations align their HR practices with business objectives and create a positive and productive work environment.

Team Development Strategies

Team Development Strategies focus on improving the effectiveness and performance of teams within an organization. Consultants work with teams to enhance communication, collaboration, and decision-making processes. They facilitate team-building activities, provide training on effective teamwork and conflict resolution, and help establish clear roles and responsibilities. Team development strategies may also involve conducting assessments to identify team dynamics and strengths, and designing interventions to improve team cohesion, trust, and productivity.

Employee Engagement Strategies

Employee Engagement Strategies aim to create a work environment where employees feel motivated, committed, and connected to the organization. Consultants assist organizations in measuring employee engagement levels, identifying factors that influence engagement, and developing strategies to enhance it. These strategies may include initiatives such as fostering a positive work culture, improving communication and recognition practices, providing opportunities for growth and development, promoting work-life balance, and empowering employees to contribute their ideas and opinions. The goal is to create a work environment that fosters high employee morale, satisfaction, and productivity.

Leadership Development Strategies

Leadership Development Strategies focus on cultivating effective leaders within an organization. Consultants work with organizations to assess leadership capabilities, identify leadership gaps, and design leadership development programs that enhance leadership skills, competencies, and behaviors. These strategies may include executive education, coaching and mentoring programs, leadership training workshops, and succession planning initiatives. The aim is to build a strong leadership pipeline and foster a culture of leadership excellence throughout the organization.

Organization Design/Redesign

Organization Design or Redesign refers to the process of structuring an organization to align its structure, roles, processes, and systems with its strategic objectives. It involves reviewing and potentially revising elements such as reporting lines, departmental structure, job roles and responsibilities, decision-making processes, and overall organizational hierarchy to optimize efficiency, coordination, and effectiveness within the organization, ensuring that it is well-positioned to achieve its goals. Organization Systems Design or Redesign consulting focuses on designing or restructuring the systems and processes within an organization to optimize efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance. This service involves analyzing existing organizational systems, such as workflows, communication channels, decision-making processes, and information management systems, to identify areas for improvement. Consultants work closely with organizational leaders to redesign these systems, incorporating best practices, automation, and streamlining processes to enhance productivity and achieve organizational goals. They may also provide recommendations on implementing new technologies or software to support the redesigned systems and ensure successful integration within the organization.

Organization Culture Change/Transformation

Organization Culture Change or Transformation involves deliberately altering the beliefs, values, behaviors, and norms that define the culture of an organization. Organization Culture Change consulting involves assisting organizations in transforming their existing culture or establishing a new desired culture within the organization. The organizational culture encompasses shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms that shape the way people work and interact within an organization. Culture change consultants help organizations identify their current culture, define the desired culture, and create strategies to bridge the gap between the two. They may conduct cultural assessments, facilitate workshops and training programs, develop communication strategies, and provide guidance to leaders and employees on how to align their behaviors and practices with the desired culture. This change is typically aimed at aligning the organizational culture with the company's vision, mission, and strategic objectives. Culture change initiatives often require a shift in leadership style, employee engagement, communication practices, and organizational practices to create a new cultural environment that supports desired outcomes such as increased collaboration, innovation, or adaptability.

Systems Design

Systems Design refers to the process of creating or modifying the systems and processes within an organization to optimize efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness. It involves analyzing the existing systems, identifying areas for improvement, and designing new systems or reconfiguring existing ones to meet organizational goals. Systems design may include aspects such as technology infrastructure, software applications, data management, workflow processes, and automation to enhance operational performance and streamline organizational activities.

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is the process of defining an organization's direction, setting goals, and formulating action plans to achieve those goals. It involves assessing the organization's current state, identifying opportunities and challenges, and developing strategies to effectively allocate resources and achieve the desired outcomes. Strategic planning typically includes analyzing the external environment, conducting internal assessments, setting objectives, formulating strategies, and establishing a framework for monitoring and adapting to changes in the business landscape. Strategy consulting services focus on assisting organizations in formulating and implementing strategic plans to achieve their long-term objectives. Strategy consultants also help organizations align their vision, mission, values, processes, and organizational structure with the strategic goals.

Succession Planning

Succession Planning is the process of identifying and developing internal talent to fill key leadership positions within an organization when they become vacant. Consultants work with organizations to create succession planning strategies that align with the organization's long-term goals. They assess the current talent pool, identify high-potential employees, and design development programs to groom them for future leadership roles. Succession planning may involve creating development plans, providing leadership training, and implementing strategies to ensure a smooth transition when key positions need to be filled.