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Mike Morrison

RapidBI - Diagnostic OD tools for change


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Introduction to Organisational Diagnostics Development and Assessment


Let's start by understanding what organisational development is and is not. What is Organisation Development (OD)? A few definitions from Wikipedia: Organisation development is a system-wide application of behavioural science knowledge to the planned development and reinforcement of organisational strategies, structures, and processes for improving an organisation's effectiveness. (Cummings and Worley, "Organisation Development and Change", Sixth Edition, South-Western Publishing, 1997, p.2.) Organisation development, according to Richard Beckhard, is defined as: 1. A planned effort... 2. organisation-wide... 3. managed from the top... 4. to increase organisation effectiveness and health... 5. through planned interventions in the organisation's 'processes', using behavioural science knowledge. According to Warren Bennis, organisation development (OD) 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, and challenges. Warner Burke emphasizes that OD is not just "anything done to better an organisation"; it is a particular kind of change process designed to bring about a particular kind of end result. OD involves organisational reflection, system improvement, planning, and self-analysis. In other words is it is the planned change to a company to enable growth (or change) in an effective way Relative to consulting. Human Resources, Organisational Development (OD) & Training means: Consulting with businesses or departments to improve effectiveness; specifically, assessing exact needs, developing and implementing strategic planned change efforts to link goals, skills and processes to the overall mission, vision and strategy The client and consultant (internal or external) work together to gather data (via structured methods), define issues and determine a suitable course of action. The business (or department) is assessed to create an understanding of the current situation and to identify opportunities for change that will meet business objectives Organisational Development differs from traditional consulting because client involvement is encouraged throughout the entire process. The ways in which people communicate and work together are addressed in addition to technical or procedural issues that need resolution Empowering individuals and teams by using valid and reliable research to create, manage and embrace efficient and effective change Developing managers and staff to create the desired culture across all levels of the organisation Is Organisational Development the same as training? No, the two fields compliment each other. Organisational Development involves analyzing three areas of an organisation:

  • its people,
  • its processes, and
  • its planning.
Training on the other hand, typically only involves the people component. Training people will not solve every issue. Sometimes the issue requires a change in the process, and/or further strategic planning efforts. Using a Business Improvement Review or any holistic Organisational Developmental diagnostic tool can help consultants (internal or external) make effective diagnoses that will help management and clients in their planning and decision making. An effective diagnosis process can help you and your managers (or clients) direct organisational change by identifying:
  • The strengths and weaknesses (SWOT) of the organisation as a whole
  • The future needs of the organisation
  • The gap between the two and the required action plan And
  • The strengths and weaknesses in the current competencies of the key people in your organisation,
  • The future competencies needed by the organisation, and The gap between the two.
Once you've identified specific gaps, you can design special programs to meet your needs. What makes a good Organisational Development diagnostic tool? Many OD tools focus on the people and the roles they undertake. This is ok but limits the success of the project. With any successful OD project we must look not only at the people but at the systems and culture within they operate. This means understanding at some level:
  • The mission/ goals of the organisation
  • The value of the organisation
  • The current management style
Diagnosing Organisational Development needs The process that we advocate is based upon over eight years of field research.
    1. Plan to plan 2. Decide on the need 3. Agree goals & brief 4. Gather senior mgt data 5. Gather staff data 6. Collate 7. Feedback set priorities 8. Action plan 9. Implement & review
This is the process which surrounds the Business Improvement Review (BIR) when implemented fully. The main data collection process we use is the PRIMO-F model. This collects hard and soft data against:
  • People
  • Resources
  • Innovation & Ideas
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Finance
Our research has found that looking at people, their roles and skills without taking into account the culture, management style and objectives of the organisation leads to solutions which are seldom fully implemented and rarely add value. Using the holistic approach of the PRIMO-F model has demonstrated added value and successful change time and time again. One added advantage we have found when used by HR consultants (internal or external) is that because the process is strategically driven with out bias for change to people, structure or process (at the outset) that the HR functions enjoys the association with a strategic change process because it links to all parts of the organisation at a high level. Within the BIR we also use SWOT, Training Needs analyses and a range of other proven methods.

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Mike Morrison


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