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Organizational Development Principles for Sustainable High Performance

Do you have, or use, say, five or six key operating and strategic principles to facilitate organizational development for sustainable high performance?

Focusing Your Organizational Development Effort For Sustainable Strategic Results

For any organizational development strategy or intervention worth its name, there must be sound and clearly specified guiding rules or principles. The guiding rules or principles act like the compass to navigate the course of an OD intervention project, using the right framework, tools and technology. They are key parameters, principles or decision-rules and metrics to focus, direct and reinforce the process, outcomes and resources in organizational development for sustainable high performance in your people and organizational systems.

Without guiding rules or operating (and strategic) principles, the choices and decisions you make regarding the organizational development framework, analysis, tools and technology will not be on target. You will have no guarantee of achieving total organization development for sustainable high performance. You will be banking on accidental or chance occurrences!

Six Organizational Development Synergy Principles for Total Organization Development

Consider the following OD synergy principles or factors for total organization development. They form the platform for promoting ultimate high performance of people and effective organizational systems:

  • Integrity
  • Commitment
  • Empowerment
  • Versatility
  • Renewal
  • Integration
These guiding rules and principles need be explored and integrated with your OD interventions in order to produce effective organizational synergy for ultimate high performance. How many of them are you employing in your organization?

The Integrity Principle

An organization can not remain in a high-performance state for long if it lacks integrity.

OD intervention or strategy should focus on, and be guided by, the need to promote and sustain the integrity of the organization and the people systems. The primary meaning of 'integrity' is 'wholeness'. The integrity will include internal facets highly valued enough to ensure harmony, stability, vitality, and wholesomeness which have significant impact on the life of the organization as well as on the quality of the people and integrating systems.

The Japanese have an interesting phrase which underpins systems synergy in general. The phrase is significant to the integrity principle. The phrase is used of a horse in harmony with its rider. Success, or if you like, ultimate success comes when 'the horse and the rider' are in harmony. In the same vein, ultimate organization development results from the wholesomeness in facets of the people and the integrating systems of your organization.

What forms the essence of the organizational life and systems? What will harmony between the people and the people systems translate to on measures of integrity and how will this be promoted? How will 'wholeness' manifest on measures of team, culture, people and systems performance in your organization? These, and such other issues, are important when deciding on OD strategy, framework, tools or technology.

The Integrity Principle is the overarching principle for effective organizational synergy and high organizational performance. It is the supreme principle that defines the character of the other guiding principles. It also determines the worth of your OD intervention.

One major effect of the negation of the integrity principle is ineffective corporate governance and pervasive, viral corporate frauds! Read, the brief on the white paper 'Taming Corporate Frauds From the Root'.

The Commitment Principle

Your people will give their best when they are committed to a cause. The corollary is also important. Your people systems will give their best if you commit the necessary resources.

Too often OD interventions are embarked upon without a thorough assessment, or with an underestimation, of the commitments required in people and resources for ultimate success. Planning resources, developing a focused communication strategy, introducing commitment roundtables, and profiling OD champions are central to employing the Commitment Principle. How you do these and what you demonstrate to people in the process of doing them are equally important.

It is important to develop commitment to the overarching Integrity Principle at the onset.

What is the level of your people's commitment and what will you be doing to get the right level of commitment to the Integrity Principle? How will the organizational systems, or their facets, be committed to promote synergy for high performance? How will you rally your people behind a change effort for ultimate high performance? How will the OD intervention foster your people's commitment?

There must be an agreement on the process, program and strategies which will facilitate ownership of the OD intervention by your people.

The OD Synergy Note, 'The Commitment Factor' gives further insight regarding this principle. Click, OD Synergy Digest and Notes on Total Organization Development.

The Empowerment Principle

The OD Intervention must empower the people and the people systems so that they operate in tandem and seamlessly for high performance. It must build up the internal capacity and stamina, promote people's drive for achieving the business (and strategic) results or mandate, and facilitate alignment and vitality in and among the systems elements or facets.

The acid test of the empowerment principle in operation is the level of sustainability of the OD Intervention several months after it has taken place.

There must be an agreement on the process, program and strategies which will facilitate empowerment of the people and the responsiveness of the integrating systems. Time frames must be developed on the various aspects of the empowerment process and outcomes.

The Versatility Principle

The Versatility Principle is consequential upon the Empowerment Principle.

The Versatility Principle emphasizes the importance of ensuring adaptability, responsiveness, flexibility, innovativeness, vitality, and spontaneity of the people and integrating systems. This principle is critical to ensuring that the people and integrating systems are, or remain, in top condition for achieving the strategic mandate in the long term. Building a learning organization and optimizing systems elements in the OD Intervention are some of the designs employing the Versatility Principle.

The Renewal Principle

The heart of any OD Intervention is the renewal of the people and integrating systems. The Renewal Principle takes off from this premise of OD Interventions and it is linked with the Versatility Principle. For sustainable high performance, the people and integrating systems must be operating re-generatively for auto-renewal. The OD framework and technology must make this possible.

To optimize and re-vitalize the people systems and elements, the OD framework and technology must incorporate mechanisms and tools for systematic, continuous review, assessment and feedback.

The Integration Principle

The OD framework and technology should explicitly address issues of integration of the elements, sub-systems or people attributes for ultimate high performance.

For example: How will the elements and people fit? Where in the systems or sub systems will new features, sub elements or people be best placed or positioned? How will functional interdependence of the elements, clusters of elements or sub systems be optimized for sustainable, high performance of people and the organizational systems?

A well thought-out adaptability and integration plan in the course of the OD intervention is imperative. The process of monitoring the OD outcomes requires a pilot of the integration plan. To ensure ownership of the integration plan by the people in, and operating, the systems an effective mechanism is required .

Taking Action!

The OD Synergy Principles or organizational development principles for sustainable high performance and total organization development underpin total organizational development solutions and services.

To make the first step towards sustainable organizational development for high performance in your business, email OD Synergy or use the OD Synergy Feedback Form to contact us.

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Get an insightful brief facilitating organizational commitment. Click, OD Synergy Digest.

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The OD Synergy Resource Center offers you helpful information on high organizational performance.

Helpful Hints

Integrity Factor is critical to organization synergy. Click brief for socio-psychological imperatives of taming corporate frauds.




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