Cutting edge topics related to organizational development are often left to researchers and people outside of an organization. In that case, organization leaders must make a conscious effort to seek out such information if they are to lead the way in their industries. Increased internal advantages may be achieved if leaders motivate through questions such as, “How are we currently ‘pushing the envelope’ and how will we do so in the coming year?” Reminder: the tendency is to focus on increased sales, but organizational development focuses include:
-hiring, training, and coaching employees
-communication systems and work processes that are the foundation for working together
-forming alliances and increasing job satisfaction through ritual and standard practices
-representing mission statement and values through internal and external published messages
-identifying and resolving conflict through agreed upon consistent processes and communication methods
-balancing diversity with uniformity
-managing tensions between multicultural and company norms and values
-building and maintaining trust between supervisors and managers and throughout the workforce
Who is the champion of organizational development on your team? Which departments overlap in this important responsibility? Is Human Resources leading or supporting organizational development? Are managers holding to the past or challenging teams to try something new – or balancing both? Are supervisors in place who have the capacity for maintaining quality norms while evolving work flow processes? Are public relations messages handled through marketing as marketing messages – how do these messages evolve and what distinctions are in place between the two? What does “customer service” mean to the individuals providing service? (Do they enjoy serving?) Who is responsible for relationship building with your customer base before and after sales? Where is your CEO and other top leaders and how do they influence culture? What other questions are you using as catalysts to move your organization to the next level?
Pushing the envelope can feel more exciting than developing the basics to support your next “moon shot”. Too often it is top level managers who create havoc by disrupting the basic structure employees rely on for trace amounts of certainty as they brace themselves for whatever action might come next (often determined by leadership moods). Sometimes I’m dealing with employee fears to try something new, but more often I’m dealing with employees who are completely stressed out because they don’t know where they stand, they don’t know what’s happening next, and they feel powerless. Turn this around by focusing on organizational development.
Organizational development can be that titanic thread weaving all the unique attributes of your team together as an unstoppable and adaptable force leading your industry. We are half way through 2015. Who is championing organizational development at your company?