A few years ago I vividly remember reading an HBR article containing the words “the great training robbery” about why leadership training fails. It was one of those mind-shifting moments that caused me to pivot away from training and be more determined on individual and group coaching to deliver real value to clients.
In 2004 I had completed a Masters in Applied Science, Social Ecology, majoring in Organisational Development but not many companies (aka potential clients) understood OD – everyone wanted training courses. So, despite working hard to get the (frustratingly) 3rd iteration of a TAE Cert IV, I took a chance in 2014 and left training completely out of my product/service repertoire!
Since then, and even as recently as last week, my clients’ Leadership Team members say that they learn a lot, from the fabulous OD workshops we run, about how to work together and to appreciate the complexity of business problems and decision making across different functions. This is the stuff they learn while they work on actionable agendas like change projects.
That’s because OD looks at the bigger picture to address changes that are needed in order to drive progress and change. It compares the company objectives, its strategic direction and structure, as well as the culture, and creates processes for sustainable long-term success. It isn’t about the individual, per se, it’s about the collective value of people.
For example: we conduct a functional review within a client organisation; present the results at a leadership team workshop; have some must have hard conversations about the evidence; identify cultural and leadership gaps; suggest leadership behaviours to be strengthened; develop skills and tools; provide coaching for the following 3-6 months to embed the changed behaviours needed for success; regroup to evaluate outcomes.
We could argue semantics (and believe me, some people want to, argh!) about the differences between leadership, management and organisational development but to all intents and purposes they are parts of the same process - namely enhancing the capacity of organisations, and the people within them to better achieve their purpose. An holistic OD approach allows a company to unlock and harness the potential of its people and organisation by enabling leaders and employees, enforcing, shifting, changing or inspiring cultural reform, and managing change practically and effectively. The focus is always on strategic themes, unlike HR which is often more operational.
At CD we do this by:
We have lots of tools at our disposal and professional facilitators, too. We know that developing leaders, managers and organisations is ultimately a process that emerges through collective dialogue. It is the shared meanings, understandings, identities and purpose that hold organisations together and shapes culture.
There is no Holy Grail or quick fix but by encouraging critical and reflective thinking our clients find new, more efficient, inclusive and sustainable ways of growing, structuring and running their organisations.
For more information contact Cath Duncan on 0419 47 959