Putting Structure in Organization Development

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About a year ago, I was given an opportunity to join a newly forming department of organizational development. This was largely based on my history of curriculum development and teaching at a college level.
The new Organizational Development department was set up largely for the purpose of leadership development, and included subjects like change leadership, team building, crucial conversations etc., to be taught initially to frontline leaders and then work our way up the ladder. I had never been exposed to the term Organizational Development, or much less knew what OD really meant.  However, I felt it was important to get a better understanding of how other institutions and industries defined Organization Development.

When my organization gave me the opportunity to take an OD Certification course for self-development, I began searching for OD Certification Programs.  While searching the internet, I discovered the Institute for Organizational Development (IOD).  IOD offers a multitude of certification programs and professional development workshops that cover a broad range of Organizational Development topics, from OD, talent management, leadership development, executive coaching, and consulting. From my perspective, what IOD offered was just what was needed. So I enrolled in an 8-month online ODCP Certification Program 8 months ago.

To my surprise, I received a lot more than I expected from my learning journey! To give you an understanding of my professional background as a Physician, learning about efficiency and changing processes in my private practice was relatively easy: 1. understand the problem, 2. figure out a solution, 3. look at my checkbook and 4. get it done. When I joined the OD Certification Program, I discovered that problem solving and implementing a successful change were two separate things.

The ARM model demonstrates a logical, stepwise approach to engaging in a problem or change initiative, working through data collection, feedback, action planning, implementation, maintenance, and sustainability and ultimately how to get organizations to own the new processes and changes. The Organization Development Certification Program is based on 7-steps in the change process with structured guidelines, toolkits, and practical checklists that internal OD consultants can use to lead a change initiative step by step.

Everyone wants change but no one wants to be changed – especially physicians!  As a project manager, I found myself “selling” changes that would be in the best interest of the physicians and their patients, and then having to painstakingly work as a helping hand with many of them to ensure that the changes were implemented effectively to make the physician’s work easier. Adoption can be slow, tedious, and methodical work.

When I recently moved into a role as an OD Professional, I was faced with a particularly challenging group of people, including physicians who resisted change.  My new role was not unique to other roles I’ve had. The reality is that change is hard, and everyone faces challenging people.

In my new experience, I learned leadership development, coaching and mentoring are all important elements of organizational development, and my role was to help people in the organization to be the best they can be.  At the heart of every organization is the need to continuously evolve and grow in a competitive market.  Innovation is the key to success, especially in the ever-quickening pace of growth and competition. Organization Development plays an important role in organizations, helping to evolve, grow, and change.

Secondly, I learned that change was about people. People don’t want to be changed, but for organizational change to be successful, each individual must learn to accept change -whether they want to or not.

One of the main things I first learned in the OD Certification Program (ODCP) was about how OD was a scientific approach to change borrowing concepts from the field of behavioral science. Next I was introduced to Action Research Model (ARM) OD’s change process introduced by Kurt Lewin in 1939.  The Action Research Model gives OD a structure to help leaders analyze and implement change instead of what many try to do usually, less effectively.

The ARM model demonstrates a logical, stepwise approach to engaging in a problem or change initiative, working through data collection, feedback, action planning, implementation, maintenance, and sustainability and ultimately how to get organizations to own the new processes and changes. The Organization Development Certification Program is based on 7-steps in the change process with structured guidelines, toolkits, and practical checklists that internal OD consultants can use to lead a change initiative step by step.

The ODCP course teaches how to look at organizations using a systems approach to identify the culture and other elements of the organization that might impact the change initiative. The concepts and tools associated with “organizational readiness” are great predictors of the success of any initiative. The ODCP course explores this in depth.

My favorite part of the OD program centered around implementation. To truly make change happen, all people involved need to understand the “why?” of the proposed change, why they might care, and then how to give individuals the knowledge, skills, and ability to make the needed behavior changes. We learned about several models to help overcome resistance and successfully implement change.

IOD’s learning model provides learning activities to support professional development for everyone. There is no better learning environment than to be in a room full of smart experienced professionals who can share their experiences and implement new concepts after every session with guidelines, processes, and tools. IOD’s team of experienced OD facilitators have added life, color, and real-world tools to use in making each of those steps more doable and complete, leaving little to chance.

I was recently asked to be an internal consultant (not a term used at my institution) for an important health care initiative-telehealth. The project gave me an opportunity to put these tools into immediate use. I was able to use the tools from day one at the point of entry to the current phase to implementation. Just as importantly, knowing that this is a temporary assignment, the design of the solution had sustainability or the institution in mind, so that when I leave, the program will continue seamlessly.

The Institute for Organizational Development OD Certification Program helps participants learn a structure to help leaders implement successful organizational change. It should be on all change facilitators to do list.

Contributed by Jack Bastow, DPM, MBA, Lean Black Belt, ODCP, one of IOD’s recent participants who recently completed IOD.

Institute of OD

IOD offers online Organization Development Certification Programs and professional development workshops to help participants gain skills to advance in their career in the field of OD.  If you are new to OD, you will benefit from the OD Process Consulting Certification Program (ODPC).  If you have been in the field for several years but lack formal OD training, the Organization Development Certification Program (ODCP) will provide you with the tools and skills needed to advance in the field of OD.  For more information, contact us at info@instituteod.com.  We offer free monthly webinars to learn more about each session.  Visit our website www.instituteod.com 

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