What is organisation development

Organizational development can be defined as an objective-based methodology used to initiate a change of systems in an entity. An Organisation Development (OD) approach helps strengthen your overall performance and ensures future adaptability. To deal with these challenges it is important to have a whole system view of your environment and recognise how the various pieces influence each other.

At its heart, Organisation Development is the work of facilitating organisation success through a people centred approach. At its best, it is highly engaging, participative and can create a virtuous cycle of learning and development

  • OD focuses on maximising the value gained from the organisation’s resources

  • OD focuses on an organisation’s strategy, goals and core purpose

  • OD will involve applying behavioural science knowledge and practice, such as leadership, group dynamics and work design

  • OD is closely related to change management in that many developments would be implemented using change management practices

When bringing an OD lens to our work, it is important to look at all aspects of an organisation system and how they inter relate and impact on each other.



Most managers will from time to time encounter challenges that are related to organisation design. Typical questions may be:
  • “We have established a new strategy – how should we organise to ensure that the strategic goals are realised?”
  • “Is our organisational structure aligned with our work process – or is the structure an obstacle to work process effectiveness?”
  • “We created a new reporting structure 2 years ago, but it has still not been implemented in the way it was intended. What do we do?”
  • “Could we speed up our decisions processes by simplifying our organisational structure?”
  • “How can we create effective customer-supplier relations between internal units?”
  • “It seems like there’s a lack of clarity with regards to roles and responsibilities. How can we clarify the accountabilities of leaders at different levels of the organisation?”
(Questions curteousy of Nicolay Worren)
These are some of the questions that may trigger a need to look more deeply at your organisation design – beyond the lines and boxes. You can read more about the organisation process here, in a previous blog post.

Want to know more?

If you would like know more about our work, especially when it comes to organisation or systems wide change, feel free to get in touch.

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