Organization Development: Change and Well-Being

Organization 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 year has taught us anything, it’s the compelling need for ongoing organization development to anticipate, manage, and cope with change.  At its core, organization 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.  Organization 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 strategic cycle.  Organization 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 three forms of organization development intervention:

  1. team facilitation;
  2. organization level change management (planned & emergent methods / quantitative & qualitative approaches / diagnostic & narrative inquiry);
  3. work and well-being strategies for individuals and teams.  While we take an integrated approach to organization development, research supports the increasing use of well-being strategies aimed at increasing workplace engagement, commitment, and well-being, while reducing workplace stress, conflict, and burnout.

We bring Partner-level resources to each of our client engagements.

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 organization 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 organization development of teams, organizations can make a big impact on culture – one team at a time.