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Organizational DevelopmenT

What is Organizational Development?

“What is Organization Development? One classic definition of organization development comes from Richard Beckhard's 1969 Organization Development: Strategies and Models :

Organization Development is an effort that is:

  • Planned
  • Organization-wide
  • Managed from the top
  • Increase organization effectiveness and health
  • Through planned interventions in the organization's "processes,” using behavioral-science knowledge.

It is not a surprise that the  unit of analysis for OD practitioners is organization, which means that OD we focus on developing organization capability through alignment of strategy, structure, management processes, people, and rewards and metrics.

Adapted from the National OD Network Website.

Link to the National OD Network page to learn more: National OD Network - What is OD? 


Who practices OD?

Organization Development practitioners include internal or external consultants having a diverse level of experience and expertise in a variety of practice areas.  Common practice areas include:


Connect to other Central Ohio Professional Organizations associated with OD:

Association of Change Management Professionals of Ohio 

Central Ohio Chapter - Association for Talent Development

Project Management Institute Central Ohio Chapter

Central Ohio Agile Association

Human Resource Association of Central Ohio

International Coach Federation


Link to the National OD Network page to learn more:  National OD Network - Global Framework


Impact of an OD Consultant

You want to hire an OD consultant, either on your staff or as a consultant, because we are trained to see behavior, patterns, and areas for improvement that other disciplines don't address.

Where expert consulting firms deliver recommendations based upon their technical knowledge in your sector, OD consultants empower you and your staff -- the very people who actually know the work best -- to think creatively about new ways of working and getting results.  OD consultants are committed to improving the performance and effective operation of the organization and, simultaneously, to the development and empowerment of your staff.

An OD project begins with a business problem that needs to be solved or a challenge that needs to be addressed.  Your OD consultant will work with your organization to identify 8 to 12 or more people, typically involving one of more groups, to understand the dimensions of the problem, examine the work and how it is done, benchmark other organizations for new developments and best practices, identify creative ways to do things better, and recommend solutions that help the organization achieve its goals.

The role of your OD consultant is to help frame up the business problem, advise on the assembly of a diverse team, support the team leader in developing the project plan, advise on tools and methods needed for optimum group performance, design and facilitating meetings or events as needed, coaching group members toward optimum performance, and keeping the group's work focused on the task at hand.

While a good project manager would help with the project plan and its logistics, your OD consultant is supporting the participants in doing their work.  An OD consultant is focused on the social system of the organization, noticing and observing the communication patterns and interpersonal dynamics that contribute to, or undermine, the group's success.


Adapted from the National OD Network Website.

Link to the National OD Network page to learn more: OD Competencies and Areas of Study.


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