Organizational development practitioners are people whose primary goal is to make sure that the organizations they work for are running effectively and efficiently. They do this by making sure that individuals within the organization have a good relationship among themselves individually or in groups while working together to achieve organizational goals (Cummings & Worley, 2008). Organizational development practitioners act as consultants working for the organization in matters relating to development, designing or redesigning a particular process. This can be facilitation of teamwork, initiating change, auditing or carrying out checks. Consequently, their information is very crucial for every organization.
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There are two types of organization development practitioners, internal organization development practitioners, and external organization development practitioners. While the internal organizational development practitioners are part of the organization they work for, the external Practitioners are not in any way associated with the client that they work for (Rafferty & Griffin, 2001). They do not have any vested interests in the power that any member of the organization enjoys. This makes their reporting or influence impartial since they do not rely on the client for approval or promotion. On the other hand, external organizational development Practitioners might not have good knowledge of the organization structures like their internal practitioners.
To ensure that the feedback that comes into the organization is accepted and initiated to bring about change, good organizational development practitioners must use their full expertise in human dynamics. This is by ensuring that organizations’ top managers are encouraged to be committed to promote ownership and growth of the organization (Cummings & Worley, 2008). This is done by offering a well-designed process that enhances the organization’s ability to engage its managers to help through the change process. As a result, it will make the internal actors accept and have the commitment to make things work.
There should also be avoidance to over-rely on the role ranks or positions of people in power or influence. Instead, the focus should be on the way to influence others to make things work out. This can be effectively done by managing the internal relationships and behavior. Unlike other professional experts, organizational development practitioners must fully engage themselves in heart and mind to make intervention possible (Rafferty & Griffin, 2001). Self-awareness and understanding helps one to be effective in giving services to clients where most internal members may not be willing to accept change.
To give good information, organizational development practitioners must ensure that information is of good quality. They should avoid misrepresentation, misuse of data, coercion, value and goal conflict, and technical ineptitude. For organizations to accept information and act upon it there is value for good feedback. The feedback should be tangible, goal-centered, transparent, actionable, user friendly, timely, ongoing and progress towards a goal. As an outsider organizational development practitioners’ focus should be to ensure that liaising with the client is the only way the diagnostic design can work out well (Cummings & Worley, 2008). Good diagnostic design should be done in three prominent steps entry phase, data collection phase and feedback phase (Rafferty & Griffin 2008).
These phases are however recursive meaning that they overlap in a way. During the entry stage, there can be an element of feedback and data collection. The entry point is where the organizational development practitioners determine the participants in the diagnostic process. He gets the permission to enter the organization and talk to them about this and agrees with them about their roles in the three stages. Being an external consultant is an added advantage because people cannot be consultants of their systems or systems they are party to (Cummings & Worley, 2008). The entry into the organization, however, can be a threat to the organization temporarily. All data collected at this entry point will then be used in the next two stages.
Data collection involves the actual gathering of information about the client and his systems. The first step is designing the methodology to be used and identifying the population from which to get the data. The consultant must be very specific about the kind of data that will be useful while analyzing this data (Rafferty & Griffin, 2001). The data should be as precise as possible and to do this liaison with the information and people who gave it at the entry phase will be important. The consultant can use many methods to gather the data.
Lastly, feedback consists of meetings between the client and the organizational development practitioners to present the data that has been analyzed. The data is then interpreted and discussed. This involves making suggestions based on the analysis carried out. Feedback design should bring together people interested in the information presented. At this point, there will be success or failure depending on how good the organizational development practitioners conducted their work (Cummings & Worley, 2008). This will be the determining point whether the feedback you provide will be accepted and acted upon.
Cummings, T. G. & Worley, C. G. (2008). Organizational Development and Change. Stanford: Cengage Learning.
Rafferty, A. E. & Griffin, M. A. (2001). Expanding Organizational Diagnostic by Assessing the Intensity of Change Activities. Organizational Development Journal, 19(3), 3-15.