The Best Practices in Organizational Development

by Flora Richards-Gustafson; Updated September 26, 2017

Organizational development is a practice that examines how individuals within a company change. Relying upon discoveries found in the fields of communications, anthropology, sociology and psychology, organizational development practiced within a company aims to maintain and develop effective relationships among employees, customers and investors. When practiced correctly, a company focuses on achieving objectives while embracing partnerships, talent, leadership and innovation.

Action Plans

Companies practicing organizational development should develop a plan of action that is clear and focused. Moreover, management should communicate this plan to the company’s employees, customers and stakeholders on a regular basis. The best action plans are those that start with a simple proposal created with knowledge about the company’s target customer, and have a realistic observation regarding its own functional competencies, as well as current and future capabilities.

Executing the Action Plan

How a company executes its action plan matters more than what they execute. This is because the concept of organizational development dictates that attention to a company’s operations counts more than what it may invest in or embrace according to Nitin Nohria, William Joyce and Bruce Roberson in an article for the “Harvard Business Review.” Organizational development can help a company execute action plans flawlessly and help maintain their flawlessness.

Nohria, Joyce and Roberson state a company, while executing its action plan, should increase productivity two-fold more than the industry average to help ensure growth that is steady and consistent. A company that demonstrates steady growth shows it had a realistic action plan regarding out-performing the competition. This company also had a realistic view about the most important procedures to satisfy customer needs without undermining quality and service.

Company Culture

The culture within a company must be performance-driven and be taken seriously by management. It is important for the culture of a company to support and encourage teams and individuals, as well as hold employees responsible for achieving a company’s goals. When employees share in the company goal, they develop a sense of belonging and ownership. Once goals are met, a company should raise the bar on performance to a higher level to help ensure ongoing success, which is always rewarded. Employee commitment to a company’s success should not mean placing the burden on only lower-ranking workers. Those at the top of the chain of command should share the responsibility, as well.

Company Structure

Successful companies that use organizational development techniques have a structure that is flexible, fast and flat. Procedures within an organization should change according to employee progress and eliminate company bureaucracy instead of impose on progress. It is also important that the structure developed for carrying out action plans be realistic and simple for workers, customers and vendors alike. For a company’s structure to see success, a company should equally seek future excellence in the ingenuity of its managers and the cleverness of middle managers and employees.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.