1.What is Organizational Development?
Functioning Organizational structures and processes are critical success factors for every company. You as someone with managerial responsibility play a decisive role in this. You form teams with team representatives or team leaders and you assign them to certain supervisors. You develop processes and thus determine the workflow required to deal with an information request or a claim, for example. But structures and processes alone are not enough to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization. This requires that your employees accept them. Securing this acceptance is the decisive difference between Organizational development and classical Organizational design. Only with Organizational development will your employees support and actively implement Organizational measures every day.
2. What is Organizational Development good for?
organization is your company’s framework and the backbone of your staff If the structures and processes in your organization work well, everyone knows where their responsibility ends and that of someone else begins. Everyone knows with whom they work together and how to support each other. Everyone knows with whom to coordinate in what cases.
In this information age with its increasing competition and cost pressure and the constantly changing requirements, nothing is more consistent than change. Both the structures and the work processes of companies have to be adapted to new conditions continuously. The integration of the internet in the internal processes of the business may, for example, require new work methods or processes or a new composition of the teams.
Whenever you change something within your organization, you influence people – either directly or indirectly. You influence tasks and responsibilities, possibly even positions and whole careers. Now it is important that your employees accept the new structures and processes Because only in that case will they accept the new framework instead of ignoring or obstructing it. Only then the goals will be attained which you wanted to reach with your Organizational measures.
In brief: your organization does not adapt by itself – it must not only be shaped and changed, but it also has to be developed.
3. What does Organizational Development consist of?
The content of Organizational development can be divided into the issues of Organizational structuring and process organization.
- Organizational Structuring
Within the framework of Organizational structuring you create hierarchies and areas of responsibility and fields of activity. You determine the managerial authorityin order to establish a system of management and to structure the completion of the tasks on hand. You create a communication system which will enable each employee to know with whom they can cooperate in the solving of which problem.
Your leadership stylemay be authoritarian or you may allow the employees to participatein the decisions by which they are affected. You may put up targets for your employees through an implicit code of conduct or you may show the way to reach the target by putting up an explicit code of conductThese decisions may be made in a centralised or decentralised way in your company.
The Organizational structure of your company may be function-orientedor it may be structured specifically for a project, a customer or a region.These forms can also be combined with each other.
Within the departments you will use team buildingto determine who fits into a working group with whom. Then you will form the members of the group through measures of team developmentlike team training into a successful team. You will create performance incentives – with and without financial components – to motivate your employees to give their maximum performance.
- Process organization
Within the framework of process organization you model or optimize business processes and thus determine how the respective customer requirements will be accommodated. This design of processes is also called workflow management You define a framework of work processes in your company which will also provide you with valuable information regarding time, knowledge and expenses
Regarding the aspect of time you will recognize which steps of the workflow have to be accelerated in order to respond to the customers’ queries more quickly – and which steps have little influence on that.
Regarding the aspect of knowledgeyou will document for your employees what they have to do in which case, you give them a sense of security, which will, in turn, make them act with more confidence towards your customers. Thus you create a streamlined approach and service quality. Through the corresponding feedback, you will learn what kind of know-how is present, where and when it is needed.
Regarding the aspect of costs, you will see from process-based costinghow specific processes – for example dealing with a request for information – have to be evaluated. You will also see what drives these costs. You will generate the groundwork for a re-engineering of your business n order to reduce costs and increase the quality of service – for a comprehensive quality management all the way to an ISO certification.
4. What is important when implementing Organizational Development?
- Organizational development is no isolated solution
Organizational development is interdependent in three ways.
First, measures of Organizational development have a decisive influence on personnel and on technology. A restructuring of the teams can have massive consequences on your employees’ motivation – depending on who will henceforth work with whom.
Second, development measures in one part of the company will often lead to consequences in other parts of the company. Executing a marketing campaign may, for example, have drastic consequences on the quality and quantity of customer contacts
Third, there are countless interfaces to other companies. A high number of claims regarding delivery may, for example, make it necessary to renegotiate the terms with the shipping company. With any Organizational measure, you, therefore, have to consider the effects it will have on other sectors inside and outside the respective department and your company.
- Organizational development is neither a fad nor a side issue – but a business necessity
The increasing speed of technological change poses more and more challenges for Organizational changes. Often, the influence of new technologies on organization and personnel is still not taken seriously enough. Additionally, Organizational and personnel development too often have to make do with the funds left from the total budget after the technology has been implemented – which very often is not enough. This leads to massive delays and subsequent costs with important projects. In the planning and implementation phase all columns – organization, personnel, and technology – have to be sufficiently considered.
- Organizational development requires result orientation and a structure
Your Organizational measures should have an overall structure, the components of which supplement and emphasize each other – instead of being in conflict with each other. If you forget to include an important screw, in the beginning, the whole apparatus won’t work in the end. And if it isn’t working, this screw usually has to be added afterward and the connections to other construction elements need to be considered.
- Organizational development requires acceptance and effective leadership
Any Organizational measure which is not implemented and adhered to on a daily basis is a waste of time and money. The most beautiful organization charts and the most refined process plans are of no use to you if your employees don’t understand them or if they resent them. You should, therefore, make all affected parties to participants in as many measures as possible, explain the reasons for your decision and thus ensure that your decisions will be accepted. Keep your employees informed about all relevant decisions in due time, so that they can still provide feedback – and take the time to deal with that feedback. Transparent decision-making and participation can have an immeasurable effect on your employees’ motivation. And that motivation is decisive if you want your organization measures to show their full effect regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of your company.
- Organizational development is complex – but it can be done
Some managers have at times been surprised by the complexity of their decisions – not only in the area of organization development. Every day, you have to answer not only to the employees and the bosses but also to the customers, prospective customers, and other stakeholders. Due to the information overflow, the day-to-day business usually takes precedence – and eats away the time for necessary measures of Organizational development.
Your organization then cannot adapt to the changing requirements mentioned before – and the day-to-day business with its pressing problems will take up more and more time. A vicious circle which has to be broken up – and not the day after tomorrow or tomorrow, but today. If you make a small start now, you create great opportunities for yourself for tomorrow. It is more effective, to begin with, small steps, to evaluate them, to learn from them and to expand them – instead of writing a “dissertation” and trying to implement a 5-year plan.
Like many others in managerial positions, you may also lack the time for entertaining these thoughts. Time, which would be well-invested, because you know how much time you may gain in the future if you put things in order and structure them. And because you know how much you can still improve your results. No reason to give up, but a reason to invest: in new capacities
and their ideas in new opportunities and more profitWhether you have the internal staff to provide these capacities or whether you need external advice to get some ideas or to solve the problem completely is a question which you can best answer yourself