The Organizational Development Mechanic


Does your OD Program Need a Tune-up or a Major Overhaul?

By Gene Wheeler

I was an aircraft mechanic for eleven years and an OD Practitioner for over 30 years. It became apparent that the systems we had developed when I was an air mechanic are similar to the systems that should be built into leadership development practices.  It’s important to act when any system starts sending warning signals that something is going awry.

Aircraft’s Send Warning Signals

The aircraft I worked on was very sophisticated. The C5-A would send information while in flight, giving warning signals to the ground crew when something was wrong and not working at its full potential. We would respond to the warnings and work as a team to look for solutions, prior to the plane landing.

Organizations Receive Warning Signals

Organizations receive warning signals that their leadership development programs are not working to their full potential. These warnings include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Problems recruiting and maintaining qualified talent
  • Leaders lacking the skills and experience to move upward
  • Lack of technical skills needed to compete in the marketplace
  • Inadequate leadership development strategies for high potentials and succession planning
  • Ineffective communication between departments resulting in siloes instead of teams

Organizations should jump into action when they notice warning signals that their leadership development process is not working.  Too often the problem is ignored or budget cuts impact training and leadership development.  Unfortunately, the first department to go during a downsizing is training and organization development.

The Keys to a Successful Leadership Development Program

A powerful successful leadership development program starts with a strategy:

  • Conduct a workforce analysis
  • Assess current process and improved processes
  • Identify need present and future, and develop a business case
  • Identify skill gaps
  • Gain senior leadership buy in and commitment
  • Conduct a strategic planning session
  • Define the process and actions to implement the plan
  • Monitor and measure results, tied to business results
  • Link outcomes to performance, and key business indicators

Does Your Leadership Development Program need a Tune-up or Major Overhaul?

Please join us for the Leadership Development Certification Program as we work through the stages necessary to implement a successful leadership development program.  Each month we will focus on different topics; walking you through the on how to:

  • Implement a leadership development strategic plan
  • Identify strategic goals and build a business case
  • Conduct a gap analysis
  • Create a leadership talent pool, define career paths, develop competency models and determine appropriate assessment tools
  • Create a succession planning model
  • Recognize how to identify high potentials
  • Create an aligned process to ensure support, measurement, and communication
  • Conduct post implementation evaluation to measure outcome, return on investment

Additionally, You Will

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to successfully design and implement leadership development programs that lead sustainable change and develop high potential leaders within your organization
  • Learn how to plan, design, and implement a program to support leaders to achieve greater success
  • Recognize how to align leadership development with the organization’s goals and ROI
  • Gain access to leadership development guidelines, assessment instruments, case studies, models, and tools to implement components of the leadership strategy.

WOW, those benefits are impressive, but there are even more resources available to you as a participant in the LDCP program – you will have the IOD team’s vast knowledge in Organization Development; learn from our mistakes and our successes.  Additionally, you will earn 24 HRCI credits, receive one-on-one coaching, and network with other LD Professionals.


Gene Wheeler is a lead facilitator at the Institute of Organization Development and facilitates IOD’s Organization Development, Leadership Development and Executive Coaching Certification Programs.  He has been an adult educator and Human Resource Consultant for over 30 years; helping individuals, teams and organizations grow and strengthen human capital through; recruiting, 360 and psychometric assessments, competency-based leadership development training programs, talent management and executive coaching. He was also the director of the Air Force Leadership School.

Institute of Organization Development (IOD) offers the Leadership Development Certification Program (LDCP) to help participants learn how to develop effective leadership development strategies to achieve organizational goals and advance in their career as a Leadership Development Professional. The LDCP program provides participants with the tools and skills needed to guide senior leaders to design and implement a best practice Leadership Development Program.  After completing the program, you will gain a certification as a Leadership Development Professional and earn the distinction of LDCP.

For more information about our certification programs and professional development workshops, visit our website


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