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5 Things Millennial Entreleaders Should Know About OD

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If you're like me, you're always looking for ways to improve your business and take it to the next level. That's where organization development comes in. Organization development, better known as OD, is a framework that helps organizations grow and develop their potential.

In this article, I'm going to clearly define what OD is and how you can use it in your business.


When a company is struggling, it's very easy to place blame elsewhere.

OD helps companies take a look at what's going well and not so well within the organization and find ways to improve upon those things that aren't as effective as they could be. This can include anything from team building exercises for employees who do not interact with one another to overhauling the entire organizational structure.

OD can be used to help an organization find its strengths and weaknesses, and discover how it can harness those strengths and minimize those weaknesses.

OD is all about discovering what works and what doesn't work for your business and developing a plan to make improvements that directly benefit you.

The Main Focus of OD

The main focus of organization development is to give an organization the tools it needs to grow and develop into a well-oiled machine. OD can help you identify strengths and weaknesses within your organization, as well as find areas where improvements can be made.

OD helps bring teams together to create strategies that will improve business processes and make things run smoother than ever before. OD is always focused on the future, helping companies set goals and develop plans to achieve those goals.

There are four primary areas of focus for OD: organizational planning, change management, training & development, and evaluation.

We'll review this a little more in detail in just a moment. Once you have an idea of what your organization's goals are, OD can help you plan out a strategy to make it happen.

When things don't go as planned (which is bound to happen at some point), OD will be there to help with change management strategies that keep everyone on track. All organizations rely on their employees being fully trained in order to excel at what they do best.

Whether you're looking for ways to improve employee retention or increase productivity, OD can help by developing effective training programs that directly benefit the company as a whole.

And finally, OD can help measure how well all of these strategies are working and come up with new plans based on what is discovered in the process.

The Importance of OD

One of the most important aspects of OD is taking a look at the entire organization and seeing what's going well, as well as what can be improved. OD helps businesses grow and develop by implementing strategies to make all areas of the business more efficient.

Once OD has been implemented, you will have a better understanding of your company's needs and how you can benefit from those needs. OD also allows employees to express their opinions about workplace issues in an effort to build morale within organizations.

Organization development (OD) is a process for improving an organization by identifying its goals and problems, analyzing these against internal resources and external environments, diagnosing the problems that need to be solved, prescribing methods for solving them and evaluating progress toward achieving goals and solving problems. 

OD is implemented in an organization by outside consultants, but can also be used on a smaller scale within businesses. Organizations use OD to improve the way they operate on a day-to-day basis.

Various models exist describing how OD is implemented or where it belongs in an organizational structure, but all agree that OD is most effective when initiated from the top of an organization and built upon the existing foundation.

As previously mentioned, OD is used to help organizations determine their goals and what needs to be done in order to achieve those goals. OD helps eliminate problems, develop greater cohesion between employees and increases employee satisfaction within a workplace.

OD is used by all types of businesses, from non-profits and government agencies to for-profit businesses of all sizes.

OD is most effective when implemented during times of change, whether it be changes to the overall organization or within specific parts of an organization.

4 Primary Traits of OD

There are four primary traits to OD that will help you understand the process, its benefits and how you can implement OD strategies.

These four traits are organization planning, change management, training and development and evaluation.

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  • Organizational Planning: This is where an organization determines what goals they want to achieve and how those goals fit into the overall strategy of the business as a whole. It also involves creating a plan for achieving those goals and determining resources that will be needed in order to complete all tasks involved in reaching those goals.
  • Change Management: During times of change, it is normal for employees within a company to feel uncertain about their roles within the changing organization. OD helps keep everyone on track by managing this transition phase with effective leadership, communication and positive attitudes from employees toward new changes have been or will be made.
  • Training and Development: OD helps turn goals into reality by training employees to help them achieve their goals. OD also focuses on developing relationships among employee teams, as well as between management and other employees.
  • Evaluation: Whether it's monitoring progress toward goals or determining what has worked or hasn't worked during the change process, evaluation is an important part of the OD process because it allows the organization to learn from their mistakes and adjust accordingly for future implementation. This trait ensures that the OD process is improving the organization by providing insight into whether employees are achieving their goals and whether the organizational plan is working.

So whether you're looking to improve your company through better communication among all employees, hiring new talent that will bring about positive changes within your business or just want to be able to show potential customers that you are constantly striving for improvement within your, organizational development is something every business should consider implementing.

The 3 Concepts of OD

The three concepts of OD are organizational diagnosis, organizational development and organizational action.

  1. 1
    The Organizational Diagnosis: This is the process in which an organization determines what strengths and weaknesses they have within their workplace. It also includes identifying any roadblocks to success that need to be removed or minimized in order for the organization to reach its goals. An organization diagnosis is vital to the overall process of OD and should be done as an initial step for any business looking to improve their organization.
  2. 2
    The Organizational Development: This is the process in which an organization uses the data collected during their OD diagnosis to develop strategies for improvement. This is where a plan is created for how the organization will overcome the obstacles identified in their diagnosis and achieve success toward their goals. OD can help create a healthy, positive work environment by developing effective employee teams and helping managers understand what they need to do in order to improve communication among all employees
  3. 3
    OD can help create a healthy, positive work environment by developing effective employee teams and helping managers understand what they need to do in order to improve communication among all employees
  4. 4
    Organizational Action: The final step in the OD process is taking action and following through with all changes that were implemented. It includes continually monitoring an organization's progress toward goals, evaluating what has worked and what hasn't worked and how to adjust for future implementation of OD strategies according to what was learned. Action is a necessary part of the OD process because it ensures that an organization is constantly striving for improvement and allows them to learn from their mistakes

OD in HR

Organizational development for HR simply means focusing on the individual and assessing whether or not an HR system within a company is effective in helping employees reach goals. OD can be implemented in HR by hiring new talent, developing training programs and implementing evaluation to monitor progress and determine if goals are being met.

OD can also be implemented in HR by identifying what isn't effective within the company and using OD strategies to make changes.

Although OD focuses on an organization as a whole, it's important to understand how OD can benefit Human Resources specifically. Through proper training, positive attitudes toward new company changes and more effective communication between employees, HR will experience more of a positive impact than the average department within a company.

So What's the Point?

Overall, using OD strategies in an HR department can lead to positive changes within a company and create a more effective organization by providing insight into what isn't working and how to fix it.

Have you put into practice any of these OD concepts in your workplace? Do you think that Organizational Development is something every business should be implementing in their human resources department?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!  


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