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Organizational Development (OD)

Organizational Development (OD): this short article explains Organizational Development (OD) in a practical way. Next to what it is (definition), this article also highlights the basics and tips. Enjoy reading!

Organizational Development (OD): this short article explains Organizational Development (OD) in a practical way. Next to what it is (definition), this article also highlights the basics and tips. Enjoy reading!

What is Organizational Development (OD)?

Entrepreneurs and managers want their organization to run as efficiently as possible. However, without a strategic approach, the company is prone to failure. Organizational development is therefore crucial to improve the organization.

Cummings and Worley defined organizational development as a “critical and science-based process that helps organizations build their capacity to change and achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures and processes”. Some basic principles are linked to this definition.

OD is a structured evidence-based cyclical process. Scientific findings are used as input to develop a controlled process in which assumptions are tested.

Secondly, this definition shows that organizational development builds capacity to change and become more effective. The outcomes may differ per organization and are linked to, for example, financial performance, customer satisfaction, innovation or employee involvement. The Six Box Model is for instance used to optimize organizational performance and many organizations use the McKinsey Growth Pyramid to determine the right growth strategy.

The last part of the definition indicates that OD applies to changes in strategy, structure, culture or processes. This implies a systematic approach that focuses on the entire organizational system, a location or a single department. One method used to promote the dynamics between organizational elements is the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model.

OD is a recurring process and consists of several phases that are linked to coaching: initiative, assessment, diagnosis, implementation, evaluation and closure.

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Tips & tricks

What are the most well-known and effective OD models? How can these models be used in my organization or work environment? What practical tips do I need to initiate effective OD? These articles are about the various tools, tools, models and methods that can be used to develop the organization. Each article also offers a number of titles with a subject linked to organizational development.

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Charles Handy biography, quotes and books

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Charles Handy (1932-2018) is an Irish author and philosopher, and lecturer specialized in organizational behavior and management. Charles Handy is internationally known for his contributions to the field of management. His work includes writings of highly influential work of business…
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