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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

Interventions
·         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