What is OD?

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Organizational development or “OD” is vital in today’s fast-paced business world. OD was first introduced by Kurt Lewin.  He described OD as a planned change model with a deliberate effort to improve a system.  It is based on behavioral science with a scientific research approach. OD helps organizations solve problems, implement change, and become more effective.  

Here are the key components needed to drive successful change. 

  1. Support from an internal or external OD consultant
  2. Employee involvement
  3. Commitment from senior leaders
  4. Having leaders own the problem
  5. Being action-oriented, problem-centered, results-driven, and tied measurable outcomes

Employee involvement in the change is key. Their ideas and suggestions lead to better solutions. Likewise, employees are more likely to accept changes when they know they had a hand in developing the changes.

When is it used?  

OD can be used in any situation or challenge that an organization is facing. Using the Action Research Model (ARM), consultants guide senior leaders and teams through a series of steps to drive change. They collect and analyze data to identify the root cause(s), select strategic solutions, then create systemic action plans for change.  These interventions are evaluated to see if the problem was resolved. If not, the process loops back and continues until changes achieve the outcomes and goals.   

Who practices OD?  

OD supports the senior leader team as advisors to support organization goals. OD professionals work as business partners and lead through the step-by-step OD change process, (ARM).  They act as a skilled coach, facilitator, change expert, business advisor, process expert, systems expert, and project leader. 

IOD ACTION RESEARCH MODEL

Benefits of OD certification

Acquiring a certification in OD demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills to successfully lead change. Certification sets you apart from those who may have only used tools or participated in projects. Here are the main benefits of OD certification.

  • Boost your reputation as a working partner using OD consulting skills
  • Increase your awareness of OD Process Consulting to lead change
  • Gain critical skills and tools needed to impact change
  • Learn proven change management methodologies based on the field of behavior science to lead business transformation
  • Sharpen your consulting and facilitation skills, human interaction and coaching skills, change management and process skills, systems thinking and culture change skills, metric development and providing feedback skills
  • Become a change leader for your organization

What competencies are needed?  

An experienced OD professional must acquire advanced knowledge, skills, and behaviors to lead organizational change. These competencies can be learned best through experience and training. Working with senior leaders as an advisor is one of the most important competencies needed. Here are the other top competencies needed for OD professionals.

  • Facilitation skills
  • Problem solving knowledge
  • Team building
  • Conflict management
  • Ability to navigate differences in others
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Creation of surveys and assessments
  • Analysis of organizational strategy, structure, systems, processes
  • Design of interventions
  • Cultural change
  • Group dynamics
  • Human behavior
  • Coaching and feedback
  • Definition of metrics and measuring results
  • Meeting design
  • Use of OD Tools such as AI, World Café, Open Space, Dialogue, Collaboration, Process Consulting, T-Groups, Force Field Analysis (Click here to see more OD tools from GIODN)

How can I acquire these skills?  

There are several ways to develop OD skills. You could attend workshops to gain the skills needed for entry level OD positions such as facilitation skills, building teams, overcoming conflict, MBTI, and DISC culture assessments.  Certification programs provide an opportunity to learn how to practice OD. Look for experiential learning programs that help build skills and transfer the learning. The best approach is a tiered approach like Lean Six Sigma. IOD offers an approach to develop your competency as an OD Professional offering three levels of OD Certification Programs – Organization Development Process Consultant (ODPC), Organization Development Certification Program (ODCP), and Organization Development Consultant Certification (ODCC). IOD’s career path model and competency assessment help you determine which program is right for you.  

Benefits of OD certification

Acquiring a certification in OD demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills to successfully lead change. Certification sets you apart from those who may have only used tools or participated in projects. Here are the main benefits of OD certification.

  • Boost your reputation as a working partner using OD consulting skills
  • Increase your awareness of OD Process Consulting to lead change
  • Gain critical skills and tools needed to impact change
  • Learn proven change management methodologies based on the field of behavior science to lead business transformation
  • Sharpen your consulting and facilitation skills, human interaction and coaching skills, change management and process skills, systems thinking and culture change skills, metric development and providing feedback skills
  • Become a change leader for your organization

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