The Potential of OD

At his blog, consultant David Lorenzo's recent entry, "The Power and Value of Effective Organizational Development," describes his reactions to a recent meeting with some OD professionals. In a nutshell, he was less than impressed. As David says, there is great potential in OD to help organizations to perform and excel. Unfortunately, for several reasons, OD can be its own worst enemy.

I've also written about this before (for example in my Nine Steps to OD series, e.g. here).

OD folk are an interesting bunch. Many believe that OD is most effective when working at the top of an organization. Others prefer to work deep down in the trenches, with front line teams and supervisors.

To my way of thinking, OD is most effective when it's "everywhere at once." When it has the ear of business leaders, but is also rolling up its sleeves and working with the employees who face the customer.

The key to effective OD is to harness the rich theory and thinking of the field, but apply it practically to the real business needs of the client.


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