Unlike non-OD companies, OD companies stress on approaches that are carefully
planned and that are meant to improve or change organizational processes and structures.
This has the objective of maximizing organizational effectiveness and minimizing the
negative side effects.
In addition, a company that employs the OD approach makes use of a holistic approach that aims to transform behavior and thought throughout the organization. Just like other approaches, OD processes also consist of data gathering, change planning, and change implementation and management. However, unlike companies that use other approaches, other elements that comprise the OD approach include interventions, change agents, and action research.
2. Which company would you prefer to work for – one with an OD approach or one without?
I would prefer to work for a company that uses the OD approach because such
a company is bound to be more employee oriented, that is, a company that looks after its employees’ well-being. In a company that employs the OD approach, the goal is to continuously improve company efficiency and productivity through the creation of an atmosphere where employees can grow. This approach can be used for effecting organizational change or for improving specific operations. In particular, a company that uses the OD approach would aim to improve workplace communication and provide team building exercises, performance rewards, and training among others.
A company that employs the OD approach also fosters interpersonal relationships as this approach focuses on working individually with employees or in groups in order to establish stronger interpersonal relationships among team members. In particular, a company that uses the OD approach recognizes the development of productive work groups and the process of team building as important parts of the organization’s development. The company also aims to improve employee relationships, which leads to employee morale being boosted and employee turnover being reduced. In addition, this type of approach provides the employees with the resources that would help them succeed and that would allow them to better understand the company’s expectations of them.
As well, a company that uses the OD approach is adaptable in that the approach enables the company to develop an expansive network of communication and contact with all employees. Because of this, adaptability becomes easier through personal contact with the employees when changes are necessary for adapting to changes in the market place. In other words, a company that uses this approach has well established methods for the communication and implementation of change, which allow it to remain proactive in the market place.
3. Do OD companies offer a higher value proposition to their customers than non-OD companies? And if so, why don’t all companies take this approach?
Yes, OD companies offer a higher value proposition to their customers than non-
OD companies. However, not all companies take this approach because not all companies
have the resources to implement it. For one, implementing the OD approach comes with a lot of administrative challenges, such as the added responsibility to the managers and the employees for maintaining open and constant communication as well as for evaluating the organization’s needs. Furthermore, this approach entails the addition of certain organizational structure elements such as the creation of work groups to address changes and issues in the company’s strategic planning and the management of workplace diversity. As such, it can be quite difficult to maintain an efficient OD program.
Still, another challenge that the OD approach poses is that it involves processes that consume a lot of time, which in turn can slow down productivity, as well as the company’s ability to react to urgent issues or to make changes.
What are the first things that you will do in order to create a plan for change which will maximize efficiencies, utilize current processes, and ensure that profits continue?
The first step I would take, in accordance to Kotter’s 8-step model, is to create urgency, that is, to create an urgency around the necessity for change, as this can motivate everyone in the organization to work together towards the change. Some of the things that can be done to achieve this are to identify the potential threats and to create scenarios that would show organizational members what can happen in the future if these threats are not addressed in a timely manner. Opportunities should also be examined and exploited.
As well, it’s important to get the organizational members’ buy-in in order to make the change successful. To do this, it will help to have honest discussions with the managers and the employees where they can be provided with convincing and dynamic reasons for the change, which will make them start thinking and talking. In addition, the argument can be further strengthened by requesting support from industry people, outside stakeholders, and customers.
The next step would be to form a powerful coalition to convince people that change is needed. Good eldership is necessary for managing change and that’s why it would be important to form a team of influential people whose power or authority comes from various sources such as expertise, status, job title, and political importance. The team can then work together to continue building momentum and urgency around the need for change.
When forming this team, it would be necessary to determine who the true leaders in the organization are. After selecting these people, emotional commitment should be asked of them. Team building should be facilitated within the group and it should be ensured that the team includes people from various levels and departments within the company.
The third step is to create a vision for change. This will help them understand the reasons they’re being asked to do something. This can then lead to less resistance as the changes being imposed on them will make more sense. The vision should be easy to grasp and remember and should include the values that are central to the change. In addition, the team should have a strategy for executing that vision.
The fourth step will be to communicate the vision. It should be communicated powerfully, frequently, and embedded in everything that the organization does. It would help to talk about it whenever possible and not just during special meetings. The vision should also be used as a guide for making decisions and solving problems. This way, the vision for the change is kept fresh on people’s minds, which will enable them to remember it and respond to it. In the same regard, company leaders should be able to demonstrate the kind of behavior that they want from the other members of the organization and they should be able to honestly and openly address the people’s anxieties and concerns with regards to the change.
After completing these four initial steps, the actual change implementation can already begin with the rest of Kotter’s eight steps, namely the removal of obstacles; the creation of short-term wins; the development or building of the change; and the anchoring of the changes in the organization’s culture.