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Organizational development (OD) is an approach to organizational functioning. It is not a training intervention. It is a planned attempt to promote the self-renewing capability of people. It also means to change the culture of the organization towards something that consists of openness, confrontation, trust, autonomy, proactiveness, authenticity and collaboration (OCTAPAC).
Sensitivity training, survey feedback, process reviews, team-building activities and inter-group developments are among the effective techniques to achieve such culture of development. But how effective are these techniques in achieving growth? OD interventions become ineffective when there is a predominance of weak methodologies, or if these are carried out by an external agent who is not familiar with the business and the people.
It is, therefore, the responsibility of the CEO to promote OCTAPAC culture. When doing OD efforts, the management’s attention must connect to employee performance rather than sending employees to OD-related courses. Unfortunately, HR and training managers think that if employees attend training, they will bring change. Mere training will not bring change. Moreover, employees may not be required to attend classroom sessions anymore under the current technology innovations.
OD interventions are most likely to be effective when these are applied in an organization with a strong performance-oriented culture. The right employees for the right job are fundamental to developing this culture.
I suggest that UAE-based companies think of using OD interventions in work redesign, organizational structure, decision-making techniques, work schedules, supervisory methods and goal setting.
If we have the right management and organizational design, even the performance of “mismanaged” organizations can be improved fast. The conclusion is: OD is not training but performance.
• The OCTAPAC culture aims to create harmony in workplace
• The management must focus on performance not training
• UAE firms must use OD interventions in work redesign, etc.
From organizational development, now go to organizational structure from this story: How flat organizaton can be a workable structure
Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant