From the process we have explored so far in the first three parts of this article series, you should have an idea of what organisational development (OD) is, what its purpose and principles are, the process of OD diagnosis, and the key points of choosing and planning an intervention. However, many OD programmes do not fail in these earlier stages, but rather in the actual implementation of the programme and its interventions.
Planning organisational development (OD) interventions has two key aspects: intervention choice and planning for the execution of the intervention. OD interventions fail for many reasons, but common ones include bad choice of intervention or poor implementation. The choice of intervention should, as the previous articles in this series have emphasised, be guided by the initial diagnosis. If you know what is wrong, then you can choose a suitable remedy. Starting with the choice of remedy makes little sense. Equally, do not always expect there to be one thing wrong.
‘One-size fits all’ solutions are common today. Thousands of self-help and business books published each year make the assumption that ‘what has worked for me will work for you’. Often the solutions touted by supposed ‘gurus’ seem to make sense and even apply to our situations. However, people and organisations continue to have problems – evidence that self-help books are yet to provide the perfect cure.
Organisational Development (OD) is the systematic practice of improving an organisation’s effectiveness. Every leader, NPO/NGO or otherwise, would love to see their organisation become more effective. OD is therefore something that all leaders need to understand and be able to get involved in. Putting OD in the domain of only HR people and consultants is a mistake that many organisations have made.
An organisation strives to reach perfection in three areas - its income, its expenses, and its impact. These three areas cover the universe of a successful NGO and summarise the executive director concerns. The three are interlocking, since each one requires the other two. Partners can help in each area and get selected for doing so.
Why the Organisation has three needs:
- Organisational Development;
Barely more than a decade after its initial inception, OLIVE Organisational Development and Training (OD&T) has announced that it will cease operations at the end of August 2006. This news will come as a surprise to many people working in the local NGO and development sector, as there are very few local organisations that operate within the field of NGO capacity development.
Those that do are highly valued for the unique and indigenous understanding they bring to organisational development, specifically within the South African civil society sector.