Change is leading the world of business. Technologies are booming, trends are spiraling and the rate of progress is increasing at a speed we have never seen before. How we deal with change, manage our people and facilitate through this process, makes or breaks the future we seek to have for our organizations. Being able to effectively and efficiently work through change not only leads us to our greatest outcomes but allows us to maintain our highest competitive advantage.
Organizational Development also referred to as OD, in short summary, is the process of change and growth through planned, managed and delivered efforts. A true OD approach is supported from the top but fosters a bottom-up atmosphere meaning that those affected by the change, at all levels of the organization, are utilized as a key tool and are a respected stakeholder in the change effort at hand. Organizational Development is about changing the attitudes and beliefs of those in our organizations and emphasizing the importance of an inclusive atmosphere in the efforts to tackle and manage change.
Traditionally, organizations have fostered a top-down approach to managing change. Decisions are made at higher levels and those on lower levels are excluded from having say in the decision at hand.
A top-down approach can become problematic for several reasons. 1) We can’t keep up with the rapid pace of change in our external environments solely by listening to those on a higher level. We have to be inclusive, innovative, creative, and quick to adapt in order for change to be effective. 2) If those who are affected by the decisions are not involved in the decision making process, change will not be perceived as desirable and resistance to change has a higher potential of being seen. 3) You miss out on a tremendous amount of knowledge. With the lack of inclusiveness you increase the chances of missing out on an idea that could forever change your organization. Holding true to the statement, “two brains are better than one”.
All and all, Organizational Development has an increasingly important place in the future of all organizations as it provides well sought out plans, employee development, change management, continuous improvement, increases profits and increases productivity.