Using the CASE Method: How HR and OD Can Improve Performance

On one of LinkedIn’s Organization Development groups, a member asked for responses on this question: “How do you determine the most critical priorities for OD and HR? What process do you use to ensure that your team is addressing the issues most critical to organizational success?”

I answered, use the CASE method:

C = Customers – All organizations exist to serve a customer. Take a good hard look at your organization. How customer-focused are you as a team? Do you know your customer’s business, including their goals and needs? Are you adding value? Are you easy to do business with?

A = Adaptability – All organizations must constantly adapt to their ever-changing environments. It’s Systems Thinking 101. To adapt continuously, they need to learn and change and improve. Learning and Change are two strategically critical processes that OD and HR can have a major role in via the Training & Development, and Organization Development, functions.

S = Strategy – Speaking of strategy, how strategic are you as a team? Meaning, are you business-focused in everything you do? Do you operate like a business? Is the “voice of the customer” part of every decision and new undertaking? Are you adding value in the work you do? Are you systems and process-oriented?

E = Employees – Nothing happens in an organization without its members doing what needs to be done. How employee-focused are you as a team? Do you know your employees, especially their goals and needs? Are you engaging people and adding value via communicating, training, coaching, team development, and mentoring? Are you training your Managers to coach, energize, and engage their teams?

The CASE method is simply a heuristic, a way of looking at, and into, something so that you can see what is happening, what is working, and what could be working better. Feel free to adapt it to your own needs or style. For example, the "C" can also be Culture or Communication. The "E" can be Engagement. Or come up with your own acronym if you prefer. The main thing is to have a lens for looking at the organization that helps you to see what is going on.

Then, combine it with the Start-Stop-Continue method and you will have an engine of success in your OD and HR functions.

A version of this blog entry was first published by Terrence Seamon at HR Blognotions on Sept 21. For more insights on organizational development, visit Terry's website and invite him to your organization.

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