The Growing Need for OD Professionals: Embracing OD’s Earthshot Moment to Tackle Global Challenges

Embracing OD’s Earthshot Moment


As we navigate the complexities of the 21st century, the role of Organizational Development (OD) professionals is becoming increasingly critical. Within the next 25 years, OD experts will support global leaders facing mounting economic, social, and environmental challenges. One of the most famous pioneers in the field of OD, David Cooperrider, refers to this as OD’s “Earthshot Moment.” Cooperrider has facilitated global summits with the United Nations for over two decades. This initiative gains momentum each year, attracting more leaders and expanding its reach. CEOs of major corporations are more committed than ever to reducing costs, minimizing environmental waste, and addressing social issues. The need for OD professionals is undeniable and urgent.

More than 80 years ago, Kurt Lewin introduced the field of OD to academics, religious leaders, and large organizations. He created a process based on behavioral science and systems design to develop effective, sustainable organizations. His research, theories, and processes have been valuable resources to OD Practitioners worldwide. As an OD Professional, David Cooperrider’s work with the Appreciative Inquiry Model (5D) offers a positive approach to change.

Economic Challenges

  1. Sustainable Growth: Global economies are increasingly interconnected, and sustainable growth has become a priority for businesses and governments. OD professionals will play a crucial role in helping organizations navigate economic fluctuations, optimize resources, and implement sustainable practices. They can facilitate strategic planning and innovation, ensuring that businesses remain resilient and competitive in a rapidly changing market.
  2. Workforce Transformation: The future of work is evolving with advancements in technology, automation, and artificial intelligence. OD professionals will be essential in managing workforce transformations, helping organizations adapt to new technologies, and ensuring that employees are equipped with the necessary skills for the future. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and development, OD experts can support organizations in maintaining a productive and adaptable workforce.

Social Challenges

  1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): As social awareness and demands for DEI continue to rise, OD professionals will be at the forefront of creating inclusive organizational cultures. They can design and implement initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring that all employees feel valued and respected. By addressing social issues within organizations, OD professionals contribute to a more just and equitable society.
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Consumers and stakeholders are increasingly expecting organizations to take responsibility for their social impact. OD professionals can help organizations develop and implement CSR strategies that align with their values and mission. By engaging in meaningful social initiatives, organizations can enhance their reputation, build trust with stakeholders, and contribute to societal well-being.

Environmental Challenges

  1. Environmental Sustainability: With the growing urgency of climate change, organizations must take proactive steps to reduce their environmental footprint. OD professionals can facilitate the development and implementation of sustainability initiatives, helping organizations minimize waste, reduce carbon emissions, and promote eco-friendly practices. By integrating sustainability into organizational strategies, OD experts can drive meaningful environmental change.
  2. Innovation for Environmental Solutions: Innovation is key to addressing environmental challenges. OD professionals can support organizations in fostering a culture of innovation, encouraging the development of new technologies and solutions that address environmental issues. By facilitating collaboration and creativity, OD experts can help organizations lead the way in environmental sustainability.


If you would like to learn more about developing your Organization Development Team and creating your Earthshot Moment, don’t hesitate to visit our website to learn more about our Enterprise Solutions,  OD Certification Programs and Professional Development Workshops.

OD’s Earthshot Moment

The United Nations’ work over 20 years with its Global Summits to Address Change exemplifies the transformative potential of OD in addressing global challenges. For over 20 years, international leaders have focused on sustainable development and social impact. These Summits have grown in scope and influence, drawing more leaders each year and expanding their initiatives.

The need for organizations to build their OD Team is exemplified by realizing that this is Organization Development’s “Earthshot Moment,” which highlights the critical role of OD professionals in this pivotal time. Just as the “Moonshot” aimed to achieve the seemingly impossible goal of landing a man on the moon, the “Earthshot” calls for bold and innovative solutions to save our planet and improve the lives of people around the world. OD professionals are uniquely positioned to drive these efforts, leveraging their expertise in change management, strategic planning, and leadership development.

The Expanding Role of CEOs and Major Corporations

CEOs of major corporations increasingly recognize the importance of addressing economic, social, and environmental issues. Many are expanding initiatives to reduce costs, minimize environmental waste, and tackle social challenges. OD professionals support these efforts and provide the tools and expertise needed to implement effective change.

  1. Reducing Costs and Environmental Waste: By streamlining operations and adopting sustainable practices, organizations can reduce costs and minimize their environmental impact. OD professionals can facilitate this process by identifying inefficiencies, promoting sustainable practices, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
  2. Addressing Social Issues: Organizations have a responsibility to address social issues such as inequality, discrimination, and poverty. OD professionals can help organizations develop and implement strategies that address these challenges, ensuring that they contribute positively to society.


In the next 25 years, there will be increased demand for OD professionals as organizations face complex global challenges. Recognizing this as “OD’s Earthshot Moment” underscores the critical role of OD Professionals in driving sustainable change and addressing economic, social, and environmental issues. By supporting senior leaders, fostering innovation, and promoting collaboration, OD professionals can help organizations navigate these challenges and create a better future for all.

As more CEOs and significant corporations commit to reducing costs, minimizing environmental waste, and addressing social issues, the need for skilled OD professionals will continue to grow. By investing in developing OD expertise, organizations can ensure they are well-equipped to tackle future challenges and drive meaningful, lasting change.

If you would like to learn more about developing your Organization Development Team and creating your Earthshot Moment, don’t hesitate to visit our website to learn more about our Enterprise Solutions and OD Certification Programs and Professional Development Workshops.

Institute of Organization Development offers online, facilitated live OD Certification Programs to support your professional growth.  ODCP provides participants with skills to lead OD Change Initiatives and help organizations successfully create thriving organizations where people are empowered to create positive change.  Please check out our OD Certification Programs and consider growing your career in the field of OD today.  Visit our website or email us at

We are happy to help you decide what program is best for you! 
Join the over 7000 participants who have successfully completed their OD Certification with IOD!

About the Author

Dr. Nancy Zentis, Ph.D.,
CEO and Founder of the Institute of Organization Development. Contact: The Institute of Organization Development offers online Certification Programs on Organization Development, OD Process Consulting, Talent Management, Executive Coaching

 IOD also sponsors, a global OD Professional Membership Organization, offering member benefits such as a Professional Directory, OD Tools, Monthly Events, a Job Board, and Member Connect.  If you are interested in joining, click here.


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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.