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Organizational Development Interventions

Ramakrishna Kongalla
Ramakrishna Kongalla
Ramakrishna KongallaAssistant Professor at Assistant Professor, IITTM, Gwalior

Organizational Development Interventions

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OD Interventions


© Ramakrishna Kongalla,
    Assistant Professor




         R'tist @ Tourism
OD interventions
• "Interventions" are principal learning processes in the "action"
  stage of organization development.
• are structured activities used individually or in combination to
  improve their social or task performance.
• introduced by a change agent as part of an improvement program
• "Structured activities" mean such diverse procedures as
  experiential        exercises,      questionnaires,       attitude
  surveys, interviews, relevant group discussions, and even
  lunchtime meetings between the change agent and a member of
  the client organization.
• Every action that influences an organization's improvement
  program in a change agent-client system relationship can be said to
  be an intervention.

                              R'tist @ Tourism
• There are many possible intervention strategies from which to choose.
  Several assumptions about the nature and functioning of organizations
  are made in the choice of a particular strategy.
• Beckhard lists six such assumptions:
   – The basic building blocks of an organization are groups (teams).
     Therefore, the basic units of change are groups, not individuals.
   – An always relevant change goal is the reduction of inappropriate
     competition between parts of the organization and the development of a
     more collaborative condition.
   – Decision making in a healthy organization is located where the
     information sources are, rather than in a particular role or level of
     hierarchy.
   – Organizations, subunits of organizations, and individuals continuously
     manage their affairs against goals. Controls are interim
     measurements, not the basis of managerial strategy.
   – One goal of a healthy organization is to develop generally open
     communication, mutual trust, and confidence between and across levels.
   – People support what they help create. People affected by a change must
     be allowed active participation and a sense of ownership in the planning
     and conduct of the change.

                                R'tist @ Tourism
• Interventions range from those designed to
  improve the effectiveness of individuals through
  those designed to deal with teams and
  groups, intergroup relations, and the total
  organization.
• There are interventions that focus on task issues
  (what people do), and those that focus on process
  issues (how people go about doing it).
• Finally, interventions may be roughly classified
  according to which change mechanism they tend to
  emphasize:
  – for example, feedback, awareness of changing cultural
    norms, interaction and communication, conflict, and
    education through either new knowledge or skill
    practice.
                        R'tist @ Tourism
• One of the most difficult tasks confronting the change agent is to help
  create in the client system a safe climate for learning and change. In a
  favorable climate, human learning builds on itself and continues
  indefinitely during man's lifetime.
• Out of new behavior, new dilemmas and problems emerge as the spiral
  continues upward to new levels. In an unfavorable climate, in
  contrast, learning is far less certain, and in an atmosphere of
  psychological threat, it often stops altogether.
• Unfreezing old ways can be inhibited in organizations because the
  climate makes employees feel that it is inappropriate to reveal true
  feelings, even though such revelations could be constructive.
• In an inhibited atmosphere, therefore, necessary feedback is not
  available. Also, trying out new ways may be viewed as risky because it
  violates established norms.
• Such an organization may also be constrained because of the law of
  systems: If one part changes, other parts will become involved.
  Hence, it is easier to maintain the status quo.
• Hierarchical authority, specialization, span of control, and other
  characteristics of formal systems also discourage experimentation.

                                 R'tist @ Tourism
• The change agent must address himself to all of
  these hazards and obstacles. Some of the things
  which will help him are:
  – A real need in the client system to change
  – Genuine support from management
  – Setting a personal example: listening, supporting
    behavior
  – A sound background in the behavioral sciences
  – A working knowledge of systems theory
  – A belief in man as a rational, self-educating being fully
    capable of learning better ways to do things.
• A few examples of interventions include team
  building, coaching, Large Group Interventions,
  mentoring, performance appraisal, downsizing,
  TQM, and leadership development.
                           R'tist @ Tourism
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Organizational Development Interventions

  • 1. OD Interventions © Ramakrishna Kongalla, Assistant Professor R'tist @ Tourism
  • 2. OD interventions • "Interventions" are principal learning processes in the "action" stage of organization development. • are structured activities used individually or in combination to improve their social or task performance. • introduced by a change agent as part of an improvement program • "Structured activities" mean such diverse procedures as experiential exercises, questionnaires, attitude surveys, interviews, relevant group discussions, and even lunchtime meetings between the change agent and a member of the client organization. • Every action that influences an organization's improvement program in a change agent-client system relationship can be said to be an intervention. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 3. • There are many possible intervention strategies from which to choose. Several assumptions about the nature and functioning of organizations are made in the choice of a particular strategy. • Beckhard lists six such assumptions: – The basic building blocks of an organization are groups (teams). Therefore, the basic units of change are groups, not individuals. – An always relevant change goal is the reduction of inappropriate competition between parts of the organization and the development of a more collaborative condition. – Decision making in a healthy organization is located where the information sources are, rather than in a particular role or level of hierarchy. – Organizations, subunits of organizations, and individuals continuously manage their affairs against goals. Controls are interim measurements, not the basis of managerial strategy. – One goal of a healthy organization is to develop generally open communication, mutual trust, and confidence between and across levels. – People support what they help create. People affected by a change must be allowed active participation and a sense of ownership in the planning and conduct of the change. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 4. • Interventions range from those designed to improve the effectiveness of individuals through those designed to deal with teams and groups, intergroup relations, and the total organization. • There are interventions that focus on task issues (what people do), and those that focus on process issues (how people go about doing it). • Finally, interventions may be roughly classified according to which change mechanism they tend to emphasize: – for example, feedback, awareness of changing cultural norms, interaction and communication, conflict, and education through either new knowledge or skill practice. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 5. • One of the most difficult tasks confronting the change agent is to help create in the client system a safe climate for learning and change. In a favorable climate, human learning builds on itself and continues indefinitely during man's lifetime. • Out of new behavior, new dilemmas and problems emerge as the spiral continues upward to new levels. In an unfavorable climate, in contrast, learning is far less certain, and in an atmosphere of psychological threat, it often stops altogether. • Unfreezing old ways can be inhibited in organizations because the climate makes employees feel that it is inappropriate to reveal true feelings, even though such revelations could be constructive. • In an inhibited atmosphere, therefore, necessary feedback is not available. Also, trying out new ways may be viewed as risky because it violates established norms. • Such an organization may also be constrained because of the law of systems: If one part changes, other parts will become involved. Hence, it is easier to maintain the status quo. • Hierarchical authority, specialization, span of control, and other characteristics of formal systems also discourage experimentation. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 6. • The change agent must address himself to all of these hazards and obstacles. Some of the things which will help him are: – A real need in the client system to change – Genuine support from management – Setting a personal example: listening, supporting behavior – A sound background in the behavioral sciences – A working knowledge of systems theory – A belief in man as a rational, self-educating being fully capable of learning better ways to do things. • A few examples of interventions include team building, coaching, Large Group Interventions, mentoring, performance appraisal, downsizing, TQM, and leadership development. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 7. Major Types of Interventions • The field of Organization Development uses a variety of processes, approaches, methods, techniques, ap plications, etc., (these are often termed "interventions") to address organizational issues and goals in order to increase performance. • The following partial list of interventions is organized generally in the order presented by Cummings and Worley in their "Organization Development and Change" (West Publishing, 1993). R'tist @ Tourism
  • 8. Human Process Interventions Guiding Individuals Group-Based • Coaching • Conflict Management Counseling Dialoguing Delegating Group Facilitation Leading Group Learning Morale (Boosting) Self-Directed Work Teams Mentoring Team Building Motivating Virtual Teams R'tist @ Tourism
  • 9. Technostructural Interventions • Downsizing and Outsourcing Organizing Tasks, Jobs and Roles Organizing Staff Business Process Re-Engineering ISO9000 Total Quality Management Strategic Interventions • Business Planning Cultural Change Large-Scale Interventions Organizational Transformation Strategic Planning R'tist @ Tourism
  • 10. Human Resource Management Interventions Employee Performance Management Employee Wellness Programs • Establishing Performance Goals • Diversity Management Performance Plans Drugs in the Workplace Observation and Feedback Employee Assistance Programs Evaluating Performance Ergonomics: Safe Facilities in the Rewarding Performance Workplace Recognizing Performance Problems HIV/AIDS in the Workplace ("Performance Gaps") Personal Wellness Performance Improvement / Preventing Violence in the Workplace Development Plans Safety in the Workplace Staffing Spirituality in the Workplace Firing Employees Employee Development • Career Development Leadership Development Planning Management Development Planning Personal Development Personal Productivity Personal Wellness Supervisory Development Planning Training and Development R'tist @ Tourism
  • 11. most common OD Interventions that companies practice 1. Applying criteria to goals here the leadership establishes objective criteria for the outputs of the organization's goal-setting processes. Then they hold people accountable not only for stating goals against those criteria but also for producing the desired results. Example: Organizations are implementing the concept of Balanced Scorecard, X-Matrix etc., to capture the goals of the employees, which in turn is helpful in their assessment and mid-term correction of their performance. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 12. 2. Establishing inter-unit task forces These groups can cross both functional parts of the organization (the "silos") as well as employee levels. They are ideally accountable to one person and are appropriately rewarded for completing their assigned task effectively. Then they disband. Example: Organizations have introduced various schemes for rewarding their employees for their performance, like: - Introducing the concept of Variable pay in as a part of CTC - Spot Recognition Award - Project bonus, performance bonus etc., R'tist @ Tourism
  • 13. 3. Experimentation with alternative arrangements Today organizations are subject to "management by best-seller." The goal in these interventions is to create what is being called a "learning organization," one that performs experiments on organizational structure and processes, analyzes the results, and builds on them. Example: Organizations today are targeting at streamlining the process of Learning and Development and encouraging the culture of Learning in the organizations. - Targeting achieving mandatory man-days of training for their employees - Introducing the Competency based practices R'tist @ Tourism
  • 14. 4. Identifying "key communicators" This is to carefully determine who seems to be "in the know" within the organization. These people often do not know that they are, in fact, key communicators. This collection of individuals is then fed honest information during critical times, one-on-one and confidentially. Example: Defining the process of Organizational Communication policy - Introducing Top – down and Bottom – up Communication approach - Introducing Employee Forums and Suggestion Box options for employee interaction - Identifying Critical employees in the organization and making them the Brand Ambassadors of their company R'tist @ Tourism
  • 15. 5. Identifying "Fireable Offenses" This intervention deepens the understanding of and commitment to the stated values of the organization. This facilitates the work of the Top Management to answer the critical question, "If we're serious about these values, then what might an employee do that would be so affrontive to them that he/she would be fired?" Example: - Publishing and Instilling Values and Beliefs among all employees - Introducing Policies like Whistle Blowing, Sexual Harassment etc., R'tist @ Tourism
  • 16. 6. In-visioning This is actually a set of interventions that help to "acculturate" everyone in the organization into an agreed-upon vision, mission, purpose, and values. The interventions might include training, goal setting, organizational survey- feedback, communications planning, etc. 7. Team Building This intervention can take many forms. Example: The most common is interviews and other pre-work, followed by a one- to three-day offsite session. During the meeting the group diagnoses its function as a unit and plans improvements in its operating procedures. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 17. 8. Inter-group Problem Solving This intervention usually involves working with the two groups separately before bringing them together. They establish common goals and negotiate changes in how the groups interface. Example: This is practiced in Product Development Companies and most of the IT and ITES Companies. - Focused group discussion are encouraged by the management, for generating better ideas and concepts R'tist @ Tourism
  • 18. 9. Management/leadership training Many OD professionals come from a training background. They understand that organizations cannot succeed long term without well- trained leaders. The OD contribution there can be to ensure that the development curriculum emphasizes practical, current situations that need attention within the organization and to monitor the degree to which training delivery is sufficiently participative as to promise adequate transfer of learnings to the job. Example: Most of the organizations today are focusing at Leadership Management for their employees. Earlier, this was targeted to the Top Management alone, but now, organizations are seeing its relevance to inculcate the leadership skills in their middle management and junior management as well. - Business Organization Retreat (BOD) is being the most common practice, is a part of this initiative. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 19. 10. Setting up measurement systems The total-quality movement emphasizes that all work is a part of a process and that measurement is essential for process improvement. The OD professional is equipped with tools and techniques to assist leaders and others to create measurement methods and systems to monitor key success indicators. Example: - The concepts like Six Sigma, TQM etc act as Measurements tools for the process followed in the organization. R'tist @ Tourism
  • 22. Thank You…!!! ©Ramakrishna Kongalla e-mail: artist.ramakrishna@gmail.com R'tist @ Tourism