Critical OD Competencies to Help You Become a World-Class OD Interventionist

Critical OD Competencies to Help You Become a World-Class OD Interventionist


Critical OD Competencies to Help You Become a World-Class OD Interventionist

As an OD professional, one needs to possess a variety of skills and competencies to do an excellent job at conducting interventions. In this article we share the critical OD competencies that you need in order to be successful in the field of Organizational Development. We encourage to review these competencies. This will be a good starting point for you to see which OD competencies you currently have and which you need to build upon.

Develop self-mastery
·         Be aware of how one’s biases influence interaction
·         Consult driven by personal values
·         Clarify personal boundaries
·         Manage personal biases
·         Manage personal defensiveness
·         Recognize when personal feelings have been aroused
·         Remain physically healthy while under stress
·         Resolve ethical issues with integrity
·         Avoid getting personal needs met at the expense of the client
·         Solicit feedback from others about one’s impact on them

Measure positive change
·         Choose appropriate evaluation methods
·         Determine level of evaluation
·         Ensure evaluation method is valid
·         Ensure evaluation method is reliable

Work with large systems
·         Facilitate large group (70-2000) people interventions
·         Apply the competencies of international OD effectively
·         Function effectively as internal consultant
·         Demonstrate ability to conduct organizational development
·         Demonstrate ability to conduct community change and development
·         Utilize a change model to guide whole system change or transformation

Use data to adjust for change
·         Use information to create positive change
·         Use intelligent information to take next steps
·         Establish method to monitor change after the intervention
·         Use information to reinforce positive change
·         Gather data to identify initial first steps of transition

Create a good implementation plan through participation
Co-create an implementation plan that is (1) concrete; (2) simple; (3) clear; (4) measurable; (5) rewarded; and (6) consisting of logically sequenced activities

Understand research methods
·         Utilize appropriate mix of research methods to ensure (1) efficiency; and (2) objectivity; and (3) validity
·         Utilize appropriate data-collection technology
·         Use statistical methods when appropriate

·         Convey confidence in one’s intervention philosophy
·         Facilitate group processes
·         Intervene into the system at the right depth
·         Creatively customize tools and methods

Manage diversity
·         Facilitate a participative decision-making process
·         Be aware of the influences of cultural dynamics on interactions with others
·         Interpret cross-cultural influences in a helpful manner
·         Handle diversity and diverse situations skillfully

Keep an open mind
·         Suspend judgment while gathering data
·         Suppress hurtful comments during data gathering

Help clients own the change process
·         Reduce dependency upon consultant
·         Instill responsibility for follow through
·         Collaboratively design the change process
·         Involve participants so they begin to own the process

Be comfortable with ambiguity
·         Perform effectively in an atmosphere of ambiguity
·         Perform effectively in the midst of chaos

See the whole picture
·         Attend to the whole, parts and even the greater whole
·         Quickly grasp the nature of the system
·         Identify the boundary of systems to be changed
·         Identify critical success factors for the intervention
·         Further clarify real issues
·         Link change effort into ongoing processes of the enterprise
·         Begin to lay out an evaluation model in the initial phases
·         Know how data from different parts of the system impact each other
·         Be aware of systems wanting to change

Set the conditions for positive change
·         Clarify boundaries for confidentiality
·         Select a process that will facilitate openness
·         Create a non-threatening environment
·         Develop mutually trusting relationships with others
·         Use information to reinforce positive change

Be available to multiple stakeholders
·         Collaborate with internal/external OD professionals
·         Listen to others
·         Interpersonally relate to others
·         Use humor effectively
·         Pay attention to the spontaneous and informal

Facilitate transition and adoption 
·         Help manage impact to related system
·         Use information to create positive change
·         Transfer change competencies to internal consultant or client so learning is continuous
·         Manage/increase change momentum
·         Mobilize additional internal resources to support the ongoing change process
·         Determine the parts of the organization  that warrant a special focus of attention
·         Ensure that learning will continue

Manage the separation
·         Be sure customers and stakeholders are satisfied with the intervention’s results
·         Leave the client satisfied
·         Plan for post-consultation
·         Recognize when separation is desirable

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Adapted with permission from the Self-Assessment Tool for OD Competencies by Christopher Worley, William J. Rothwell and Roland Sullivan


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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.