OD Intervention

You are an OD practitioner and have helped the organization identify the problem by asking the right questions. You have gone further and collected the information and data you need to help the organization establish the real problem avoiding the possibility of dealing with only the problem's symptoms. After reviewing and discussing the information and data you have collected, the organization is ready to look at the appropriate intervention(s) to address the problem.

The OD intervention, or the change process stage, is the most challenging for the OD practitioner and the organization's leadership. It is the stage at which the individuals, the groups – both formal and informal – within the organization begin to feel either secure or threatened by the proposed intervention depending on the nature of the intervention. It is also the stage at which resistance to change comes to the surface depending on the OD intervention targets.

It is impossible to include every aspect of the organization that OD intervention targets and specific intervention. However, it is safe to suggest that the intervention targets the way things are done in the organization to raise the organization's effectiveness and health. The intervention might target the organization's culture as it relates to:

(a) the individual or interpersonal relationships,

(b) intergroup relationships, or

(c) the organization's structural systems and processes.

Irrespective of the intervention target, the organization's readiness for change must be absolute if the OD intervention is to succeed. This means that the top management must commit to doing what it takes to resolve the problem(s).

The OD practitioner has a wide range of possible interventions available. The choice of the intervention depends on the nature of the problem(s) the OD practitioner has helped the organization identify.

The following are just a few examples of OD interventions:

  1. Process reengineering

  2. Organizational conflict management

  3. Job roles, placement, and compensation management – in some cases, job analysis and evaluation are necessary

  4. Quality circles – to mention one of many work improvement interventions

  5. Transactional analysis

  6. Giving and receiving performance feedback - (and the list can go on).

The purpose of an OD intervention is to improve the organization's effectiveness and its health. People are likely to grow to their full potential in a healthy organization. Can any organization afford not to ask the question: How are we doing?

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