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What is OD?

When we started telling people about our business, the most common question we got was “what does OD mean?”. We toyed with taking it away from the logo and name but in the end, we stuck to our guns! Everyone understands that HR means human resources but that also has so many negative connotations, we really believe that people can be your most valuable asset and our approach is about helping organisations add value through the people they employ. OD or organisational development is a closer fit to what we offer to our clients albeit not prefect either!

Michael Beer (of Harvard Business School, not the Australian cricketer) defines OD as;

“A system-wide process of data collection, diagnosis, action planning, intervention and evaluation aimed at enhancing congruence among structure, process, strategy, people and culture; developing new and creative organizational solutions and, developing the organisation’s self-renewing capacity. It occurs through collaboration of organizational members working with a change agent using behavioural science theory, research and technology”.

While this definition doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it does comprehensively explain the ways in which people are an integral part of the organisational system. We work with our clients as that “change agent” so we stuck to our guns with OD! In a world of work which is changing rapidly we are well into the Forth Industrial Revolution and believe that a holistic approach looking at the whole picture is increasingly necessary. Ten years ago, we may well have been having the same debate about Personnel and HR…

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