Organization Development Part I -or- Three Rewarding Days


"Organization development is a growing field that is responsive to many new approaches."

Wikipedia, 2016

Does anything sound familiar to you ?

  • important projects get stuck and target reach fails
  • proper work systems and processes are not in place
  • company structures seem to be limited to organigrams
  • assumed responsibility per function or individual bears a lot of conflict potential

Time and again we read that Human Resources Departments should to be in charge of Organizational Development - which often isn’t the case for various reasons. Interestingly, research revealed that only 6% of HR departments even feel to be responsible for it on one hand which is kind of natural on the other hand.

Why ? What are we talking about ?

(click to enlarge)

Well, we are talking about a triumvirate of strategic nature that is supposed to incorporate structures & processes that influence worker behavior & motivation considering underlying organization’s needs; not a one-a-man-or-department-show at all.

While it is easy to blame HR or an individual for a gap, responsibility is lying around, waiting for someone to take it. If you are tired of delays, overlaps, endless discussions, and/or demotivated colleagues, and want to take ownership, here is your

Organization Development Guide - Part I

in order to take the lead (or the initiative), strongly supported by the organization.

First steps

  1. Figure out the Why – which is the purpose of a desired future situation.
  2. Work out the How – which is about to determine the goals (main as well as subsidiary goals).
  3. Break out the What – which is all about the activities to be taken.

For the initial session(s)

  • organize the process in advance and let others join free of other demands on their time
  • prepare yourself and specify your aim (your purpose, your “good idea”)
  • acquire and utilize a common purpose


  • ideally a full day be set aside
  • up to eight vital people being invited, joining from concerned management and/or support functions to do an intensive breakdown together
  • one up to three days in total to develop a » goal breakdown structure that will adequately support further planning


  • the main purpose which could be broken down into 7 purposes max.
  • others interests that could be more enlightening and a better basis for future responsibilities


  • the main purpose and its sub-elements
  • an agreed-on usable starting point and different formulations
  • written up texts

Altogether is should result in

  • a common understanding what the purpose/s is/are
  • a complete picture of all purposes and all functions to be included
  • a clear demarcation of what the project will be responsible for (and what not)
  • qualitative and quantitative goals

Pitfalls to avoid

  • getting trapped in activity discussions. If that happens, consider proper » moderation.
  • gathering an imbalanced picture with more than 7 purposes. 1st they will compete with each other; 2nd human beings by nature cannot handle more than 7 topics in parallel and set priorities.
  • sticking with your initial assumptions - those may change as you gain more insight and knowledge.

Happy Initiating !

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