At AJC, we believe there is room for improvement and growth in all areas. We embrace improving ourselves and role modeling an actionable change-ready mindset that will help you move the needle forward.
The following article is a contribution by AJC’s Organizational Development Consultant, Terry Smith
The only reason the concept of always having room for improvement isn’t a cliché is because it’s true.
The desire to continually improve is fundamental to our nature as professionals, as leaders, and as human beings. Business improvement for our clients is the core of AJC’s practice, so our fourth organizational value is a foregone conclusion. We believe we can improve on every area, always with a laser-focus on actionable and measurable steps that move your needle forward.
This core value interweaves seamlessly with the core values of organizational development.
At the center of the OD value proposition is the continual improvement of work processes, workflow designs and systems, and staff and team interactions.
Chanel Sutherland summarizes this most completely in a 2019 blog on explorance.com: “Companies that engage in organizational development commit to continually improving their business and offerings. The OD process creates a continuous cycle of improvement, whereby strategies are planned, implemented, evaluated, improved, and monitored.” Anand Imandar’s 2019 summary of the key benefits of organizational development states this in another, no less descriptive, fashion: “Organizational development enables a company to continually improve its processes and offerings. By helping make strategic choices in all activities that the organisation does, OD helps improve efficiency. This tends to produce better outputs with the same or reduced levels of inputs.”
By operating holistically across multiple organizational functions, OD practitioners provide valuable insights that otherwise might get lost in the daily hum. OD delivers the diagnostic and action-oriented analysis that leads to tangible progress in organizational improvement. The key element that AJC and OD support is the recognized need for continual improvement by the organization’s leadership, (whether evolutionary or revolutionary, another topic for another day) and the leadership understanding and insight to be able to correlate the holistic nature of OD. Often, companies tend to organize themselves into siloes, focusing on vertically integrated processes and layers of infrastructure that do as much to maintain those vertical siloes as they do to further the business objectives. Our clients recognize and embrace the opportunity, and we base our delivery model on that opportunity.
The key element that AJC and OD support is the recognized need for continual improvement by the organization’s leadership, and the leadership understanding and insight to be able to correlate the holistic nature of OD.
OD practitioners have a wide and deep toolkit for improvement activities. Starting from the baseline premise that OD is data-driven, data collection through a variety of methods is a fundamental tool for creating analyses and strategies that support the org. From that data, OD can begin to develop interventions that include team-building exercises, intergroup relationship exercises, focus groups, and multiple types of process consultation, to name a few. These all operate in service to the business needs by supporting the grey areas of human interaction in a cohesive and actionable manner.