Organisational Development

Organisational Development (OD) enables people to transform systems.  It is the application of behavioural science to organisational and system issues to align strategy and capability.  It enhances the effectiveness of systems through interventions that enhances people’s collective capability to achieve shared goals.

But it’s not just those with Organisational Development in their title that do OD – we all do OD if we are working with people, change, transformation and leadership – OD is by and for everybody.         

Many specialists who do OD work in small teams and communities and try to share the joy of the profession with those around them, creating a social movement, as often resources are at a minimum for OD Teams. 

Our 11 ICS senior OD, Culture and Leadership leads get together monthly as part of a community of practice and have developed the explanation below of what Organisational Development encompasses and how it can help your systems.  Please do feel free to download it and use it yourself in your organisation or system.

In order for us to help and support all people doing OD we wanted to signpost some great resources and courses to help you on your OD journey.

DoOD – delivered in partnership with NHS England and NHS Employers

The website gives you access to free resources, an app, virtual mentoring, annual conference, two great free OD courses and a new online course is coming soon.  Do check out the website and the dates for the next cohort of the programmes.  The team also run regular virtual community of practices for countrywide OD professionals, so do email them to ask more about dates and times. 

The Future of NHS HR and OD People Professions

The Long Term Plan and the People Plan set out the vision for the future NHS and in order for us to meet the challenges and opportunities that will arise in healthcare by 2030 the people profession, which comprises of human resources and organisational development practitioners will need to adapt and change as they will play a key role in shaping the future. Learn more about this here.

Midlands OD Community of practice

Being an Organisational Development (OD) practitioner, facilitating change, challenging the status quo and influencing your organisation and systems to work differently is a dynamic and exciting role.  It can also be very challenging and often OD practitioners can feel alone and isolated as they are buffeted by resistance to system wide change and transformation. 

The Midlands Leadership and Lifelong Learning team recognise these challenges and are committed to supporting senior OD colleagues across the Midlands.  One of the ways which we are helping OD colleagues is through the provision of Communities of Practice Groups for those working in a strategic and system role.

These groups are formed from OD practitioners who are working in the various systems across the Midlands and offer the opportunity to meet colleagues who might be doing similar work.  The CoP provides a safe space for OD practitioners to learn, develop, and experience peer to peer support and co-consultancy to enhance practice. 

These externally facilitated sessions offer an independent perspective, provide challenge and create the conditions for shared learning as well as utilise learning from other sectors.  Participant feedback has been positive and recognises the value of facilitated sessions that:

  • provides support, reflective practice and personal stretch
  • offers new tools and approaches to keep OD practice fresh
  • utilises the experience of other OD practitioners
  • creates a safe space for collective learning & exploration of systems working

The group uses action learning style methods to work on their existing challenges and discuss the dynamics of their respective systems and contexts.  All the while encouraging and supporting each other to reground and revalidate themselves as OD instruments.

In recognition of the evolving and every changing circumstances of individuals, the group welcomes new colleagues who may be new to the system or have changed roles.  To encourage inclusion and meet the challenges of already busy schedules the group meets at approximately six-weekly intervals for 2 hours virtually using Zoom.  If you would like to join us please email [email protected].

Organisational Development Masterclasses – coming coon

We are currently working with our colleagues across the country to procure a series of OD Workshops run by experts in the field.  These will be available for people leading change, transformation and working in the field of OD.  We anticipate them starting in late Autumn and watch this space for further information.

Signposting to free OD resources

There are many organisations and groups who offer Organisational Development programmes and free resources and they can easily be found on an internet search. 

Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge was a behavioural science expert and she inspired the OD community through the Do OD group at their masterclasses and conferences as well as through her books and website.  She had recently funded the production of an OD App which helps anybody interested in or who are practitioners to self-asses themselves and then focus on what they want to learn more about through the app. It is with much sadness that we announce that Mee Yan passed away in August 2022, the community will miss her greatly and whilst we hope her resources and website stay available to all, this may not be possible

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development – championing better work and working lives. They offer programmes and resources for OD practitioners:

There are also a number of OD subscription organisations that you can become a member of to support you with your practice and continuing professional development why not ask around in your communities to get connected.

If you want to gain any further Organisational Development support or know of other signposting we could include on this page please do get in touch.