Defining who should be involved with the development of your OD strategy

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People are the most important part to any OD strategy, making it vital that stakeholders from across the organisation should be involved when developing an OD strategy. 

There will be several different levels of involvement, ranging from those who simply complete a survey as part of the consultation phase, through to those who are responsible for making the final decisions.

Involvement in the consultation

For a new OD strategy to work, people must be willing to make changes to their attitude, beliefs and behaviours.

People tend to be more receptive to making change if they are at least aware that a consultation has taken place.

People tend to be more receptive to making change if they are at least aware that a consultation has taken place and so in general it is better to involve more people rather than fewer.

However it can be difficult to balance the desire to have a large number of people involved in the consultation phase with ensuring that the amount of data that you have to sift through is realistic.

Each organisation will have its own quirks and idiosyncrasies so it is hard to be prescriptive about the correct number of people to involve.

Also remember, many organisations will have external stakeholders, for example clients or the general public, who should, in most cases, also be involved in the consultation stages.

Expert advice

An OD strategy should draw upon both the theory and practice of behavioural science.

Therefore, it is desirable to involve one or more experts in the field of behavioural science and OD throughout the development of the strategy.

A successful OD strategy will have support and involvement from the top levels of management.

This helps to ensure that the theory will actually be applied. 

Keeping these experts on board through the delivery stages will help ensure that the strategy is well-delivered.

An alternative to bringing in an expert as a consultant would be to train up your existing HR employees in this area so that they can they manage the implementation of a new strategy.

Making the decisions

A successful OD strategy will have support and involvement from the top levels of management.

If top level managers are not on board with the strategy and do not adopt its desired behaviours, it will be impossible for changes to filter down through the organisation.

It is therefore extremely important that the top levels of management are heavily involved in making the key decisions when it comes to the development of an OD strategy.

If they feel ‘bought in’ to the new strategy they are far more likely to work with it and help roll it out.

Defining who is involved

By defining who is involved in developing the OD strategy (as distinct from being consulted about it which we discussed earlier in this article) from the beginning, people from across the organisation will know who to turn to in order to express any ideas or concerns during the consultation phase, keeping those involved who are not directly part of the decision making process.

It is extremely important that the top levels of management are heavily involved in making the key decisions.

There are many people who may want to be involved in the development of an OD strategy.

It is essential that real OD expertise (a consultant or expert internal resource) is involved, as if simply left to it, others within the organisation might come up with a strategy based on flawed science that is impossible to deliver.

Those in top level management should also be involved, as without their support, the OD strategy will almost certainly fail.

While it is important to limit the numbers involved in actually developing the strategy, large organisations may also want to invite department heads or regional managers to help develop the strategy, giving their employees a voice. 

About Nick Williams

About Nick Williams

Nick Williams works at Acuity Training, who provide hands-on instructor led training from their two UK offices.

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