Organizational Development 101

If you are like many of our clients, you probably have big plans for your business in 2017. Are you struggling to figure out how you will accomplish everything in your vision? 


Too often big business terms can conjure images of big investments of time and money, possibly even hiring a consultant and ultimately stopping the planning process in its tracks.


Big business words can needlessly overshadow the reality of the process. Let’s focus here on one term: Organizational Development.


The WD HR Impact team believes that at its core OD is a combination of project management and personnel cultivation. Essentially it is taking the time to assess your established business goals and identify where there might be gaps between expectations and reality.


According to my colleagues, the first step, and probably the hardest part, is clarifying your goals.


What is it that needs to happen in order to move your business forward?

What do you want or need to accomplish?  


You cannot be successful unless you deeply delve into this question; your inquiry should lead to very targeted and specific desired outcomes.


Once you have clearly identified one or two goals you need to push the inquiry a step further; the next questions should be: Why do we think this is important and what do we hope will happen once we have we get there? How does it tie to our mission as an organization?  


Now that you have zeroed in on the right goals, you need to focus on the people who will get you from where you are to where you want to be. Do you have the people in place with the right capabilities to accomplish the objectives? What steps or changes might you need to make in order to ready the team for the project? 


With clear goals and the right team in place, asking some top line yes or no questions will help to determine the feasibility of any development plan.  Some of the questions that you should ask include:


Are we capable of achieving the goal?

Do we have the financing available?

Do we have a desire to achieve this goal – personnel buy in?


Assuming the answer to the above questions is yes, you are ready to prioritize what you can work on and when and then to begin the process of aligning your team and resources.  Essentially you put a project plan in place.  Further questions to explore at this point include:  


What is the desirable time frame?          

What resources do we have in place? How do get the ones we still need?

What solutions do you have in place? Systems, partnerships, best practices?

Who is participating and in what capacity?


Outline the project plan to include important dates, key deliverables, and allocated funds. The more specific you are on these details the more you will be able to follow through and keep your team both motivated and on schedule.


When well executed, development planning starts with goals and ends with process steps and clearly identified participants. Ultimately Organizational Development Plans give you the framework to deliver real results by designing a clear path to accomplish your goals. You can improve your coproate culture and be well on your way to becoming an employer of choice.


Dream big for your business this year! Need some help outlining your plan? Our WD HR Impact team would love the opportunity to be a valued partner in your planning process. 


By Natalie Delmage


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