As we said in Part 1, “Why bother?” is not only a good question, it is essential. It ought to be asked more often and of more topics than it is. The essence of the question is at the core of organization development itself. The following three characteristics of O.D., as it is sometimes called, are more than descriptors of the concept, they define a few benefits of the practices involved. This gets at both the “Why bother?” and “Is it worth it?” questions.
Let’s frame it this way: if you want your body to get leaner, stronger, more flexible, and more resilient (as in shorter recovery times) you could hire a personal trainer and see a nutritionist. You would work out self-care plans with them and keep them alongside you until you developed the habits you wanted or achieved the physical condition you needed for that big competition, class reunion, or a long, healthy life. That is what O.D. experts do for organizations. Here are only three more of the many benefits available through such a process.
4. You Learn How to Better Identify and Choose from Equally Viable Options
For example, sometimes it is better in the long run to create and develop actual teams. This could result in a “team of teams” style of organization. It works well…when it works. At other times, all that is needed is a cross-departmental workgroup. Those require specifically defined boundaries and outcomes as well but do not carry with them all the expectations of a team, and the higher level of “maintenance” that goes with teams. An O.D. consultation can help you define and choose the best option for your purposes.
5. You Get a New Tool Kit Designed to Expand With Your Vision
Nothing stays the same for long. An auto mechanic now needs additional expertise in information technology. The technology you just learned last month is now outdated. The customer base or clientele you serve are often quick to switch their loyalties. For all this, you need a variety of tool kits. Time with an O.D. consultant will help you identify which tool kit(s) you need most immediately, train you in the use of those O.D. tools, and coach you in how to adapt as the world “white-waters” around you.
6. You Gain a New, Mutually Understood Common Language
Many good decisions made by effective leaders don’t “stick”. The buy-in is there. The resources are available. The anticipation is high. But shortly after the launch, everything is back to the way it used to be. Why? Why? Why? It’s because “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. The ultimate outcome of an excellent organization development process is a clearly defined, intentionally chosen culture and agreed upon means of practicing it, along with accountability to those practices. A big part of that new culture is a whole set of concepts and actions that also result in a new common language and internal stories. The repetition of those stories and the use of that language, though unfamiliar at first, helps reinforce new decisions and build momentum in the direction you have chosen, not a random default direction chosen by circumstances.
Tie it with a bow…
There, the second set of three out of six definitive benefits clear to come from time spent with experts in organization development. (There are more than six!) Just as your mind and body benefit from time with a personal trainer, nutritionist, or counselor – your company, agency, or noon-profit will develop the core strength, flexibility, and nimble balance needed to thrive in a world of unpredictable forces from unforeseen sources.
Whatever your level of complexity or current state of organizational health, TurningWest is equipped and well-conditioned for coming alongside as your guide and coach in the arena of getting better at getting better.