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Organizational Development is an intentional process designed to increase the performance of an organization and the effectiveness of its people. Successful development aligns with an organization’s values and culture, focusing on achieving results not only through efficient processes and systems, for example, but also through the involvement, support and positive growth of the organization’s people.
Best championed by an organization’s leaders and implemented collaboratively throughout an enterprise, organizational development applies scientific principles of human behavior and a “human-first” approach to achieving success. For example, development goals include ensuring that the work environment provides opportunities and expansion for employees, as well as for the organization. Processes are implemented that not only support and improve the performance of the organization, but that also build trust and collaboration among people and teams.
In fact, the proactive inclusion of employees and leaders is integral to a successful organization development program. An organization’s people must have clear and honest communication about the organization’s vision; understand the application and objectives of changes in process or structure; and recognize that they are valued participants in the decision-making and outcomes. It is this environment that encourages people within organizations to not only accept the changes that organizational development brings, but also empowers them to take ownership for implementing those changes.
Frequently, an organization focuses on development when it is going through significant change or operating in challenging or shifting environments. But organizational development is also useful as a way to solve a specific problem; increase productivity; analyze a process or system; create greater efficiency; plan growth; improve quality; create and comply with standards; and even drive innovation in product development. Organizational development can be applied to change management; team building; employee engagement; training; strategic planning; leadership development; decision-making; managing conflict; innovation; and nearly every structure throughout an organization.