What makes OD projects easy

A potential client interviewed me for a new project on Thursday. I was asked about the more challenging projects I had facilitated and I mentioned these three.

1) A wealthy company of 30 people acquired a company in crisis of 400 people and took over full command.
2) Mexicans, Americans, Japanese and Israelis worked together in a split-site development project which was 8 months behind schedule.
3) Two huge independent vendors (Chinese and Israeli) , working for a German client, ask me to do an OD between the 2 vendor organizations, along with the client.

Later on during the day, I thought to myself how easy these 3 projects had been for me, because they were free of the filthy politics which traditionally accompanies OD work. How did this happen?

Projects for which there is no cook book or protocol allow the OD practitioner freedom to “develop” solutions along with his/her clients, and not deliver some well packaged snake oil products. Furthermore, there is no competition from motivational pep talkers and magicians who solve all issues within 45 minutes.

Furthermore, in all the projects I mentioned above, OD had been commissioned by the folks on top; as a result:

• The eager beavers of procurement have little say to say about price or scope
• The project is owned by the CEO, not HR, so that there is less need for apparent effectiveness and wow wowing
• Leadership will support the consultant, not step aside and download the risk to the consultant, as often is the case in Change Management

Share Button

6 thoughts on “What makes OD projects easy

  1. Pingback: Excellent!” | Allon Shevat

  2. Excellent points Allon about the importance of anchoring the project where it really belongs – e.g. buy-in at the top, a collaborative effort, focus on the issues to be managed/solved rather than impressing the “right” people or playing corporate politics, and building mutually beneficial relationships.

    Really enjoying your blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.