7 Reasons Why OD Consulting Must Involve Both

A common question I get asked in that setting is, ‘how would you handle…(an organization development issue)?’  My response is always the same; unless the Scope of Work first includes work on financial matters, which is the other side of the organization coin, I probably won’t accept the project.  Why, show me what you think is a people problem, and I’ll show you a money problem.  Show me what you think is a money problem, and I’ll show you a people problem.  If the client is not willing to address both sides of that coin simultaneously, I am not willing to work on half of a problem.

So back to the 7 main reasons why I don’t accept strictly OD consulting…(not necessarily in this order):

  • …if the leader is not currently or unwilling to serve as the exemplar.
  • …if there is an insistence on attempting to salvage people with absurd counseling.
  • …if somebody in the organization has simply gotten the client excited about the latest and greatest, a popular acronym, or a cool management style, i.e. ‘good to great’, ‘self direction’, ‘value added’, ‘world class’, etc.
  • …if the business has not developed a ‘Strategy’.
  • …if organization development, decision making, innovation, or problem solving is not related to the ‘Strategy’.
  • …if management believes that business planning and career development are the same.
  • …if the client is not willing to assign accountability with consequences, or there is a requirement for a consensus.

Since how we are all wired has not changed since day one, I don’t believe you have to develop an intricate organization model or create Byzantine decision making procedures in order to turn any organization in to a profitable, well-oiled machine.  Allegorically, you need a spine and a pennant.

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