Organizational Development: Change and Well-Being

Organizational development is about how people and organizations function and how to get them to function better.
French & Bell

 

Nothing Stands Still

Organizational change never stops.  Organizations are in a constant state of perpetual motion and change.  If the past several years has shown us anything, it’s the compelling need for ongoing organizational development to anticipate, manage, and cope with change.  At its core, organizational development (OD) is about learning, adapting, and changing – at the individual level and at the organizational level – to meet every day needs as well as unexpected challenges in the workplace environment.

Key to success in any OD effort is the engagement and commitment of senior leadership (walking the talk) and continued support (it’s not a new ‘flavour of the month’ initiative).

Outcomes of learning organizations that invest in OD activities include:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Improved functioning of teams
  • Increased commitment to organization goals
  • Continuous improvement of the whole organization

At Eden Park, we believe that effective organizations see OD as part of the continuous improvement process.  Organizational development is not a one time event but rather a continuous effort of organizational evolution and change.  While change management is often a by-product of strategic change, OD is ongoing no matter where an organization is in its strategy cycle.  Organizational development supports the strategic business cycle and provides continuity from one cycle to the next.  It provides organizations with resilience to handle and manage the forces of competition and change that are ever present in the external environment.

How We Do It

We specialize in several types of organizational development intervention:

  1. Team facilitation;
  2. Change management: Change comes in several forms (changing plans, changing minds, changing values, changing everything).  We consider different approaches to change based upon research, empirical experience, and client needs.  We adopt planned & emergent methods / quantitative & qualitative methods / diagnostic & narrative methods;
  3. Work and well-being strategies:  Psycho-social health is key to individual/group performance and effectiveness. While we take an integrated approach to organizational development, research supports the increasing use of well-being strategies aimed at increasing workplace engagement and commitment, while reducing workplace stress, conflict, and burnout.

We bring Partner-level resources to each of our client engagements.  Every intervention is considered within the broader context of organizational strategy, culture, and business goals.

Work and Well-Being

The well-being of people is important to the development and effectiveness of organizations.  As the workplace has evolved from manufacturing to knowledge based work, there has been a shift in focus from a traditional health and safety (injury & illness) to wellness (physical health) and well-being (psychological and social health).  This shift has become more significant as the pace and intensity of work increases.  With the growth of virtual work, people’s work and domestic lives have become more intertwined – the lines between work and non-work have become blurred.  Part of organizational development is helping organizations support the psycho-social well-being of its people in the workplace – wherever they may be.

OD is a Bottom Up/Top Down Collaborative Process

We believe that OD is a bottom-up process beginning with individuals and teams. We help organizations that are focused on building effective teams as a means of embedding the OD mindset.  We recognize that teams are the root of innovation and change within organizations.  Sometimes team effectiveness can be easily achieved through a role clarity exercise; other times it’s more complex and requires a multi-faceted approach.

We recognize that improving team dynamics leads to improved team climate.  We believe that if you ‘change the climate’ you ‘change the culture’.  If you ‘change the culture’ you ‘change the organization’.

Cultural change can be a daunting task that takes time. Changing the climate within an organization is very achievable.  By focusing on the continuous organizational development of teams, organizations can make a big impact on culture – one team at a time.