10 basic components of Organization Development

Every first year student of organization development should learn the following basic components of Organization Development; these principles should be refreshed all through one’s professional life.

  1. The act of organization involves the creation of anxiety, and organizations, in order to be successful, need to mitigate the anxiety. The anxiety is created by the friction which mutual dependence that organizing creates.. The aches and pains that the organization deals with are anxiety-rooted. If this anxiety is not mitigated, all activity of the players is inward focused.
  2. Reorganizations are often manipulations which are politically motivated to buy time. As a matter of fact, the more frequent  output of reorganizations is chaos. And most important, reorgs are ‘feigned change’, the real issues often obfuscated by the chaos which ‘reorgs’ create.
  3. Working with middle management is a waste of time, unless it is one part (and not the starting point) of organization development.
  4. No organization can “define away complexity”. So yes, clear roles and processes have some value; but when the rubber hits the road, most roles and process are not totally definable
  5. The most important value OD brings to the table is the ability to get  competent people to cooperate.
  6.  OD does not  and cannot change culture. OD can get organizations to do things differently, which may change culture.
  7. OD is an art form.
  8. OD products are saleable but for the most, they are commercialized crap.
  9. The results of OD are real but not measurable.
  10. OD is a process. The goals of the process are not known apriori, so any “statement/scope of work” that you need to provide at the outset  may be meaningless within a few weeks. Be careful what you promise.