Organization Development (OD) is the scholarship and practice of applied social sciences to cohesive groups of people – organizations, communities, unions and the like. OD professionals tune into and assess an entire social system with an aim to guide and coach it to discover and evolve itself, bringing people-based processes to do so.  To clarify, OD professionals are not hired to fix a system like a doctor or manage it like human resources (HR). We might work with individuals and teams, though usually with ALL of them or those identified as requiring support to fit the organization as it needs and wants to be as a whole.  Those who practice are typically systems thinkers, with a view on how people, process and systems work (or don’t) together. We discover how a system may work against its own interests and support it to evolve to serve those interests instead, not in doing anything to the system but by supporting its development of a more effective way.

We support pursuits like strategy-culture alignment and employee engagement through a variety of aforementioned people processes, including:

  • Strategy development
  • Leadership and management development
  • Team development
  • Coaching and facilitation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Large group interventions
  • Succession planning
  • Talent acquisition, retention and development
  • The list goes on…

…but OD professionals do not typically specialize in a single process. We usually have a capacity for multiple processes. Our specialty is in getting to know the system and what it may need, then figuring out the process to support it through research, drawing from our professional community, and trial and adaptation.

As a coach supports an individual to their own growth and development, so do OD professionals support an organization and all its individuals to its whole growth and development. To do this, we must start by engaging the very top level. If leadership is unwilling to change, there is little hope for the whole system to do so. That is the rub. On the subject of employee engagement, for OD, it isn’t about managing employees to engage; it’s about engaging employees, and we can support leadership and management to develop the capacity to do so effectively. Transformation of an organization requires every single member to develop new capacities. We can support that process, too.

If, as a leader, you are looking to take your organization to a new level or in a different direction, we can support you to evolve your organization, as a whole, to move that way. Call on us via OD professional organizations such as the OD Network or the International Society of Organization and Change as well as higher education such as Benedictine or Case Western Reserve University. You can bring us in as external or internal consultants as we do our best work in autonomy from the system, not tucked in to a department, other than perhaps the C-Suite.

We, Organizational Development professionals, look forward to serving your organization’s strategic development needs.

Be well.

I will admit upfront that I am by no means any kind of fiscal wizard, nor do I wish to be.  I will also qualify that for me science is the quantifiable analysis of God’s creation.  And, finally, I can only speak from that of which I am aware, so welcome more information.  That said…

I have continuously questioned economic growth.  I am primarily a feeler, in Meyers-Briggs terms, and it has never felt right to me that an economy should continually grow.  Oh, it feels better, for sure, than an economy in recession, but it seems to me the “feel goodness” of a growing economy has perhaps become a social addiction and one that has caused us to create economic bubbles to feign continued growth?

Beyond my feelings, I look to nature and science for information on the matter, and here are some thoughts based on current awareness.

1) Matter that continually grows, eventually destroys.  Ivy, bacteria, cancer cells come to mind.  David Suzuki speaks to this in his book: The Legacy: An Elder’s Vision for Our Sustainable Future on which I heard him interviewed recently.  Fascinating.

2) Has anyone noticed that as we grow the economy so do we grow our fiscal debt? I should also confess that I do not see economy as part of or based in nature but a human construct subject to laws of nature.  So, conceivably, what we’ve created we can adapt or even undo, assuming we put our collective minds to it.  And when we do, I propose doing so in a way that does not undermine society nor disrespect laws of nature.  Since it has taken us at least decades if not a century to reach this point, is it wise to think we can fix it in the near term without detrimental side effects?

3) How far exactly can we stretch a rubber band before it breaks or snaps back?  Are we perhaps in the throes of an economic breaking point or  snap back?  Are we prepared to release it gently or will we continue to let it smack us?

4) I wonder, did the concept of the Tao come about from centuries of a collective people witnessing the ebb and flow of life and living?

These are the thoughts that pass through my mind on the matter of fiscal responsibility, and as mentioned, not my area of expertise.  Given this, I am open and willing to becoming more informed by welcoming alternative perspectives.

Respectfully,
~ Jacqueline