"To develop a workforce that can adjust to the constant flow of change,
our experience points us to three focus areas critical to effective change
First is employee engagement – finding ways of getting key
stakeholders actively involved in the change process itself.
organisational incentives need to be aligned so that employees see a positive
tangible outcome as the result of the change.
Finally, companies must establish
communication channels that build trust and credibility among employees, engage
key stakeholders who can amplify and reinforce key messages through their own
personal spheres of influence, and solicit feedback on an ongoing basis."
According to Warren
Bennis, organisation development is a
complex strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and structure
of organisations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets,
Following the method of the
Action-Research Process, an organisation must first become aware of problems as
yet unidentified through a process of diagnosis. The second stage involves
learning and executing behavioural and/or procedural changes in the
This Action stage is a period of
attempting and seeking new forms of behaviour in an effort to understand
and cope with the system's problems or inefficiencies. The final stage provides
results from actual changes in behaviour following the corrective action steps
taken. Information is again gathered and analysed to fine tune any adjustments
- Changes in behaviour
- Data gathering measurement
- Learning processes
- Action planning
- Action steps
- Preliminary diagnosis
- Data gathering
- Action Planning
Systems Model of Action-Research Process
Today's Organisations must be able to
modify and adjust systems in order to adapt to increasingly complex and
uncertain technological, economic, political and cultural changes. Three major
trends have precipitated the need of Organisation Development as an enabler for
- Globalisation is changing the markets and environments in which organisations operate as well as the way they function.
- Information Technology is changing how work is performed and knowledge is used.
- Managerial Innovation has both responded to the globalization and information technology and accelerated their impact on organisations
Why bother with Organisation Development?
Employees are usually a large proportion
of organisation operating costs. How employees are lead and managed and the
environment in which they operate can make the difference between
organisational success and failure. It is critical the organisation understands
how to manage them.
Changing nature of the workplace
Workers today want feedback on their
performance, a sense of accomplishment, feelings of value and worth, and
commitment to social responsibility. They must also be more efficient, to
improve their time management. And, of course, if we continue doing more work
with reduced employee numbers, we need to make our processes more efficient.
Our environments are changing, and
our organisations must also change to survive these challenges. Organisations
need to be more responsible and develop closer partnerships with our customers.
In order to survive, it is critical to attack the problems, not the symptoms,
in a systematic, planned, socially responsible manner.
Accelerated rate of change
Competition exists on an international
scale for people, capital, physical resources, and information.
When is an organisation ready for Organisational Development?
There is a formula, attributed to
David Gleicher (3, 4), which can be used to decide if an organisation is ready
Vision x First Steps > Resistance to Change
This means that three components must
all be present to overcome the resistance to change in an organisation:
Dissatisfaction with the present situation, a vision of what is possible in the
future, and achievable first steps towards reaching this vision. If any of the
three is zero or near zero, the product will also be zero or near zero and the
resistance to change will dominate.
This model is used as an easy, quick diagnostic aid to decide if change
is possible. Organisational Development can bring approaches to the organisation that will enable these
three components to surface, so that the process of change can begin.