November 5th 2019

Essential elements of organisation development – Interview with Chris Worley

What are the essential elements of OD? Watch this interview with Dr. Christopher Worley, Center for Effective Organizations, to listen to his take, and the capability gap between where OD is as a profession today and where it should be.

[00:00:08] Chris, OD is one of these terms that creates a degree of confusion and a lot of difference of opinion about what it actually means. So what for you are the essential elements of ODs?

[00:00:18] Yeah, first you're right, there are several definitions of OD probably contributed to a couple of them, but I think if truth be told, they're all more similar than different.

[00:00:29] And I think that some of the essential essentials of that are that it's an applied behavioural science and applied social science. It's based on inter. It's based on a diagnosis. And then I like to say that it must include learning. There has to be some transfer of knowledge to the system so that it can better handle the changes it faces in the future and it should be focussed on improving the organization's effectiveness. So I'd like to see that there's change, that there's improved effectiveness and that there's learning. Those are kind of the key things I look for.

[00:01:04] And what's the biggest capability gap that you see today between where OD as a profession is and where it should be?

[00:01:11] If I had to pick out a single thing, it would be I would like to see organization development practitioners have a better handle on organization design. I think they understand some of the process issues that we just talked about in terms of definition. But I think they need to marry that with some content knowledge around how the organization is put together in terms of its strategy systems processes and how those things are aligned.