December 13, 2021

Developing Internal Organizational Development Strategic Plan—Case Report

This is a brief note on a project undertaken for a client organization towards development of an internal organizational development strategic plan. The real name of the organization is not used.

General Approach

Review of relevant documents (e.g., XYZ’s 2011-2015 strategic plan and executive management organograms), presentations by various departments and representative management staff, roundtable discussions with representative stakeholders within XYZ, interview of top management executives and representative employees, group activities and presentations, data feedback, and workshop presentations.

Organization Development Implications of XYZ’s Strategic Plan

The Organizational Development Strategic Plan gives a clear direction on the improvements in organizational systems and processes for XYZ’s operational and strategic efficiency and effectiveness. It commences with an exploration of background information about XYZ and highlighted the implications of the XYZ’s 2011-2015 Strategic Plan for Organization Development (Not included in this case report).
Organizational development means more than merely adapting XYZ to external or internal forces: It means forward-thinking action to contribute to sustained long-term success. The OD Strategic Plan should reflect the strategic situation and drive of XYZ.
Mission of the OD Strategic Plan: Developing XYZ as a high-performance organization able to sustain competitive leadership in its niche.
The 2011-2015 OD Strategic Plan covered fifteen areas but only five included in this case report.

Organizational Design

Significance: It is imperative that an organization be designed to fit its strategic and competitive environment. A misalignment would result in missed opportunities, organizational inefficiencies, and corporate mediocrity.
Challenge: XYZ is in an industry that is rapidly shifting in stakeholders’ perceptions and competitive challenges; XYZ needs to reconfigure its work processes, structure, and culture to meet the changing strategic and competitive realities.
Strategies: Transform XYZ into an organization that can adapt quickly to change and to sustain a high-performance; XYZ’s leadership team and top management to establish, clearly define, and communicate a shared vision; acquire and deploy the technology, equipment, policies, systems, procedures, and processes, to sustain its operation and strategies as a high-performance learning organization; systems, processes, and structure will be designed and developed to foster key elements which promote it as a high-performance organization.
Note: We proposed designs of organizational structure and role relationships to the Board of XYZ, including headquarters, regional, and field operational structures, based on the principle of being a high-performance organization with systems and processes equipped to sustain competitive leadership.

Corporate Governance

Significance: Sound corporate governance involves using a set of processes, customs, policies, rules, systems, and institutions that help a corporate entity be directed, administered, or controlled in such a manner to ensure mission attainment, strategic vision, integrity, and accountability.
Challenge: Board of XYZ needs a range of skills and understanding to be able to deal with various business issues and review and direct management performance, particularly involving proactive actions to evaluate XYZ’s management's performance in pursuing and achieving its goals and maintain its corporate integrity.
Strategies: Develop skills of the Board for greater oversight, strengthening financial expertise, improving transparency; and formulating approaches for dealing with good corporate governance challenges; Board to establish or restructure appropriate committees to effectively assist it in overseeing the corporate governance of XYZ, and overseeing and directing management in developing its financial and business goals and the processes behind them.

Organizational Culture

Significance: Culture defines an organization’s way of life and influences its people’s performance and corporate outlook.
Challenge: Espoused culture, apparently an involvement or learning culture, largely includes being friendly, being open, being on first-name term, and listening to and accommodating contrary views conflicting with perceived culture in operation, which is power-oriented, involves some element of threat; a task-oriented culture with high emphasis on getting the job done and high pressure to meet deadlines which affects work-life balance.
Strategies: Hold roundtables meetings across all levels in the organization to resolve the apparent conflict between the ‘espoused culture’ and the ‘culture in operation’, in particular on how the top management will model and better operate the espoused culture; Adopt feedback processes and technologies to foster an increased capacity of employees to contribute to decision-making if not at the policy-making level, then at the work process level about practices in the workplace; Conduct periodic employee and stakeholders’ opinion survey on XYZ’s organizational culture, climate and attractiveness.

Block Quote

Conduct periodic employee and stakeholders’ opinion survey on XYZ’s organizational culture, climate and attractiveness.

Internal Corporate Communication

Significance: Communication bonds an organization. Information is the lifeblood of organizational direction and decision-making, and communication is the thread with which the organization string the information.
Challenge: Much needed information is hoarded, and background materials for decision-making are often delayed or provided too late for important meetings such that meeting participants have little time to study such materials.
Strategies: Establish and use various communication channels, open communication channels, non-threatening and non-judgmental; Provide information promptly and seamlessly to all stakeholders as relevant to decision-making; maintain a workplace in which honest two-way communications and fairness are a hallmark, and workplace disputes are resolved by fair and efficient means.

Staff Performance Management System

Significance: Effective staff performance management keeps staff focused on key targets and specific areas of responsibilities and performance targets towards achieving XYZ’s mission and strategic objectives.
Challenge: Although XYZ’s people are committed to doing their jobs well, XYZ should take appropriate actions in the areas of work process improvement, performance measurement, and team performance improvement and design.
Strategies: Establish an integrated performance management system that helps XYZ to objectively differentiate between poor performers and outstanding ones, equitably reward staff, and develop key staff for higher responsibilities and strategic opportunities.

Other OD Strategic Plan Details

Activities were also proposed for each strategy and an implementation plan was also recommended to the Board of XYZ.

About Author

About the Author

Dr. Oladele Akin-Ogundeji, a first-class organizational development specialist, and public service management and state governance consultant, is based in Lagos, Nigeria. He holds Ph.D. of the University of London. He leads the OD Synergy team and coordinates ODSynergy.Com. He has more than 40 years teaching, research and consulting experience. He also coordinates BetterPoise.Com, promoting people's capacity to be on top of their world and attain sustainable self-fulfilment.

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