Organisational Development – a leadership issue

organisational development
An effective organization is one that is able to satisfy its raison d’etre and consistently meet its objectives. To achieve this goal requires the organisational development to be congruent with the organisation’s strategy.

By organisational development we don’t just mean your people and where they sit in terms of departmental or functional structures (important though they are) but also the systems, technology and processes that are integral to your organization.

Do yours effectively support your strategic purpose? If so, that’s great. If not, you are not alone – this is an area that is often overlooked.

Lots of businesses pay attention to how the components of their organization – their systems, processes and technology – enable the day-to-day operational necessities. We see far fewer that take a more holistic view, one that secures alignment with their vision and mission and enhances their competitive edge.

By taking a much broader view of the organisational needs of your business, you can put in place an organisational design that is capable of much more than operational effectiveness. In fact, your investments in these areas can become critical components of your long-term competitiveness.

How come? Well, the more holistic approach to which we refer utilises additional factors such as group dynamics, leadership style, company culture, etc. This ensures a good understanding of how the design and development of your organization – including the usual operational components such as systems, processes and technology – impacts the quality of working life and the scope for continuous improvement. Without these your competitiveness is unlikely to be sustainable over the long term.

As a business evolves, it changes in scale and direction – sometimes subtly and at other times radically. One of your responsibilities, therefore, as a leader is to be alert to the likely impact of such changes and to ensure you have an organisation that understands the importance of regularly checking and challenging itself. In
other words, reviewing your organisational development to ensure ongoing fitness for purpose and continuously striving for sustainable competitive edge.

What does that require of your approach to the development of your organisation?

There is a plethora of articles, papers and publications on the subject of organisational design. For most businesses, we find an effective approach is to clearly link Strategy, key Design Factors, Leadership Style and Culture.

org dev - dynamic model

We like this model because it makes clear the importance of all the core elements with which we are familiar (People, Systems, etc.) whilst highlighting the over-arching influence of leadership style and culture in getting from strategy to performance.

As the leader of your business, have you set out the organisational development challenge yet? If not, now is a good time to start!

If you have, well done – and remember, it’s not about excellence for its own sake but in order to sustain your long-term competitive edge. If you are doing that, you have a very bright future ahead – and we would love to hear about it.

Author: Andrew Hall