OD in Practice

It’s interesting to hear how OD is becoming a part of organisational life. Shaunagh Harvey-Kelly worked with Nationwide to help introduce OD. Although the people were reporting hihg levels of engagement and enablement, there were problems around delayed decision making, lack of autonomy, lack of clarity on organisational objectives, unclear roles and responsibilities in teams.

They took the approach to pilot an introduction to OD through some teams in order to build buy in across other business functions. This helped to give the other business areas confidence that introducing OD was not only beneficial but helped redefine purpose of teams, business units and achieve better levels of productivity.

In setting out the strategy, they took a three staged approach:
1) Diagnose and define – what are the barriers to effectiveness and how could we address them?
2) Implement – what do we need to do to fix some of the issues we are seeing?
3) Embed – how do we make sure the changes we implement stick?

They followed a set of design principles:
1) spans of control and organisation layers
2) management roles vs professional and technical roles
3) decision making at the lowest level
4) hands-off and interfaces clearly articulated
5) customers in all account abilities
6) business risk, value and cost management included in all roles
7) duplication and crossover removed
8) processes clear and mapped

Crucially they included analytics in introducing OD. Personally I think this is a vital piece as the use of analytics helps to give a true sense of what impact to business is when investing in various initiatives.

They define OE as a combination of a real understanding of business context and team, experience, expertise and strong facilitation and meaningful analytics and MI (Management Infomration?).

Workshops were carried out where they focused on 4 areas:
1) Established vision, prioritised critical issues, established tracking
2) Shared current activity and possible duplication
3) Mapped activity and built ‘to be’
4) Developed scorecard, structures and implementation plan

A good session sharing good level of content and insights into how OD methodology was used and what was needed to make it happen.