Diagnosing Challenges in Your Organization, and Designing and Implementing Robust, Workable Solutions
This foundational program explores the theories, approaches and tools of the contemporary OD practitioner. The program is based on the IRC’s pioneering Blueprint for Organizational Effectiveness, a whole systems tool to help you diagnose organizational challenges and design robust solutions. Foundational to the practice of OD is the involvement of stakeholders in an action learning approach to change. Participants will apply our 4 D action-learning process and tools to a simulated case study. As you explore the ‘D’ in OD, you will develop your organization’s capacity to learn and adapt in pursuit of strategic goals.
a) Setting the Stage
What are your roles as a practitioner of organization development (OD)?
What exactly is OD? While there is no comprehensive, widely accepted definition of OD, we will use analogies to create a working definition that will guide you as an OD practitioner back in your organization.
The focus will be on classic OD principles: collaboration; the group as the unit of change; action learning; and whole systems perspective.
b) Understanding Where OD Came From
To know where we are going it helps to know where we have been. This section provides the historical perspective you need to ground future practice.
You will examine:
- Major theorists who influenced the evolution of OD from scientific management to systems theory, with a view to understanding contemporary practices such as large-scale interventions
- How OD theory and practice have shaped our perspectives of the effective workplace
- How environmental factors influence our definition of the ideal organization
c) Defining the Well-Designed Workplace
Organization development means creating an enabling workplace where people can work effectively toward strategic goals. What defines functional, high-performance workplaces? The answer lies in the Queen's IRC OD diagnostic model, the Blueprint for Organizational Effectiveness. Explore challenges your organization is experiencing for each area of the Blueprint by using the Gap Analyser.
d) Exploring the Action Research Model
Go deep into the action research consulting process, in which practitioners partner with their clients to collect and analyze data and create interventions to accomplish the client's goals.
You will learn:
- How data are collected through interviews, focus groups, surveys, observations, review of historical material, and other methods
- How data are analyzed and presented to the client group so that a shared diagnosis and interventions can be developed
e) Viewing the Organization From a Systems Perspective
OD is a change process that looks at the overall dynamics of people systems, and how changes in one area affect the other parts. You will work through a series of thought-provoking, experiential activities designed to highlight the importance of systems thinking.
You will learn:
- Tools for mapping systems
- Barriers that block innovation and create misalignments
f) The OD Blueprint and OD Consulting Process
This is your chance to start working with the theory and skills you have been learning. Using the OD Blueprint as the diagnostic template and the action research consulting model, you will work through a case scenario. Your small group will:
- Diagnose the problem or challenge
- Assess relevant data
- Define the change agenda
- Discuss possible interventions
- Share the valuable information generated with the entire group
g) Self as Instrument
Taking stock of all that you have learned this week and the challenges that await you on the return to work, how prepared are you for the various roles that you will play as an OD practitioner?
In this closing module, we will ask you to turn the lens on yourself and answer the following questions:
- What talents do I bring to my role as an OD practitioner?
- What drivers- values, goals, needs, wants - motivate me to do my best work?
- What deep knowledge do I possess based on life experiences and observations?
- What must I do to continue my personal development?
By the end of the week, you will be better positioned to:
- Diagnose your organization’s challenges using the Queen’s IRC blueprint
- Use the principles of OD practice: systems thinking, action learning, partnering with the client, and stakeholder engagement to foster generative thinking, collaboration and the iterative development of robust options
- Engage stakeholders in our 4 D action learning process, to diagnose the organization’s challenge and design workable solutions that people are energized to implement
- Apply the theories and practices to one of your organizational challenges and create a plan for moving forward
- People management systems aligned to the organization's north star
- Ability to move toward culture-level change with lasting effect
- Shared ownership of complex challenges
- Better understanding of bottlenecks blocking greater effectiveness
- Participant Case Study Workbook
- Blueprint for Organizational Effectiveness
- Organizational Effectiveness Gap Analysis
Human resources and organizational development practitioners, team leaders, external and internal consultants, planners, and implementers of change who want to learn a leading-edge methodology for understanding and achieving optimal organization development
Brenda Barker Scott is a groundbreaker with a passion for creating workplaces that inspire, connect and grow people. Over her twenty-year career in teaching and consulting, Brenda has led ambitious renewal efforts aimed at enhancing innovation and collaboration with provincial governments and agencies, school boards, not-for-profits and private firms.
When working with leadership teams, she combines strong theoretical knowledge with practical methodologies to ensure that the right people are engaged in the right conversations to design robust and workable strategies.
Brenda is co-author of Building Smart Teams: A Roadmap to High Performance (Sage 2004), and is currently undertaking field...
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Françoise Morissette has been a facilitator at Queen’s IRC since 1994, and was made a Fellow in 2006. She played a key role in developing and implementing the Queen’s IRC’s Organizational Development curriculum intended for OD practitioners, and teaches on the OD Foundations and Coaching Skills programs.
As a consultant, Françoise is a major contributor to the field of Organizational Development, with a focus on leadership and systems transformation. Using a wide range of interventions, she helps individuals, organizations and communities enhance their leadership capacity and boost their ability to perform. She regularly presents at major conferences in both official languages, in Canada and...
Read the full bio for Françoise Morissette