This is the first in a series of blog posts on the subject of , and is the product of decades in the field. Just the title raises
There are many definitions of organization development (fondly known as OD by those who are familiar with it). Most, however, are too abstract or vague to be of much use in understanding just what an OD practitioner does. Too often OD is thought of as “soft” or “touchy-feely” which pejoratively seems to have something to do getting too emotional or sentimental. Or, it’s the latest jargon for team building, retreat facilitation, or training—all of which are a part of OD, none of which are OD. So here is our definition based on what has worked in our experience with 100+ clients and too many students to count.
Organization Development: Collaborating with organizational leaders and their groups to create systemic change and root-cause problem solving on behalf of improving productivity and employee satisfaction through strengthening the human processes through which they get their work done.
What we like about this definition is that it offers the essence of (1) what practitioners do, (2) the results they are after, and (3) how it works. These three items can also help us understand and explain several critical aspects of organization development, and we will explore them further in our next posts.