carbon cycle, systems theory, root cause, organization development, Toby Elwin, blog

Root cause and critical path, that’s organization development

Toby Elwin, carbon cycle, systems theory, organization development root cause

What is organization development?

Yes organization development:

  • Training and
  • Leadership development and
  • Coaching and
  • Performance management and
  • Change management and
  • Communications and
  • Organization design and
  • Competency models and
  • Strategic planning and
  • really so much more

It is almost more confusing than helpful to really say what organization development is.

This challenge spills over when I am to bring organization development with me to look at a performance management plan, but told not to touch incentives, coaching, or talent development.

Or asked to provide change management, but not allowed to meet with the top of the house to identify communication points or told not to touch skills-gap analysis, training, or performance management.

When I look at an organization, a department, a team, or an individual, I see each in a frame of the system they work within. The general characteristics of a healthy organization are cohesion, interdependence, and stability.

Organization Development Root Cause

Systems theory relies on all interaction. You can not divorce the pieces:  just as you can not take the ocean out of the carbon cycle.

What is organization development?

Well, who really cares, unless it helps people identify a need, overcome a challenge, and maximize resource return.

Simply, organization development is diagnosing the root cause and then designing the critical path to commitment.

Without commitment you only have a perspective.

The diagnosis without the critical path to commitment is rhetoric.

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Comments 2

  1. Toby, are healthy organizations always stable?  I would say they are more defined by their clarity.  For example, in fast-developing industries, stability may be found in just a few functions.   Yet clarity about culture may run throughout and across the firm.

    1. I agree. Stability is not the design stability, I see the stability from the cultural or human capital stability. Where chaos might surround people or organizations and cripple, retard, or paralyze their ability to act, a stable company manages the stress test differently.

      Building a resilient organization is building a stable organization. Stable in the reliability to absorb and manage through chaos or uncertainty, flex, and bounce back. Change is constant, as much in the agree-to fast-developing organization as the market leader or Fortune 50 organization.

      I clued in on stable more from the systems theory side and added the term to the blog with parallel intent. I appreciate you pointing towards the word and the meaning. Thank you Greg for the comment and for stopping by, I enjoy your blog at Change Agent Group.

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