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Updated: October 25, 2021

The Total Organization Development Challenge for Top Managers

Top managers that concentrate on total organization development to position their organizational and people systems for sustainable high performance would be creating the future of their organizations in business. Total organization development—integrated with fostering total organizational poise—is at the heart of sustainable high-performance organizations.

Essence of Total Organization Development

At the heart of sustainable organizational high-performance is total organization development!
Total organization development, involving fostering total organizational poise and organizational synergy, is the ultimate corporate challenge for long-run success and growth! It is to imaginatively foster the synergy of excellence of people's actualizing attributes and excellence in the facets and interfaces of business systems and subsystems for sustainable high performance.

Let's Interrograte Your Recent Organization Intervention Project

When last did you undertake an organization development project or an organization intervention program? Let's consider two scenarios.
If you undertook an organization development project at least over 24 months ago, consider these questions.

  1. Was the initial organization development program conceived around certain specific burning issues?
  2. What did you achieve six months after the conclusion of the program? How much of that did you get one year after?
  3. What are the challenges and issues seen as likely to result in—or determine the course of—any subsequent organization development project in, say, three years? What about in five years? How much of these were factored into the design of the initial organization development program?
  4. How did the organization development project address and position the organizational or business systems and their interfaces—their quality, functional interdependence, alignment, and synergy?
  5. Which explicit principles of sustainable organization development drove the project?

If you recently undertook an organization development project, say, less than 24 months ago, consider these questions.
  1. What burning issues did you start with?
  2. How much effort did you put into getting commitment to drive the intervention program?
  3. What did you consider as the overall outcomes of the program? How much of them were you prepared for?
  4. What would you say is the proportion of foreseen outcomes—say, good ones—to the unforeseen outcomes—say, bad ones?
  5. How much consensus did you get on the impact of the intervention program considering the burning issues you started with?
  6. How did the organization development project address and position the organizational systems, subsystems and their interfaces—their quality, functional interdependence, alignment, and synergy?
  7. Which explicit principles of sustainable organization development drove the project?

Block Quote

...imaginatively foster the synergy of excellence of people's actualizing attributes
and excellence in the facets and interfaces of business systems and subsystems for sustainable high performance

Imperatives for Total Organization Development

Issues and considerations—such as the foregoing—underpin the model, quality and thrust of organizational development. They underpin the need to embrace 'total organization development'—which translates to fostering effective synergy of people's actualizing attributes and excellence of integrating systems and facets—together with their interfaces—for high performance.
Total organizational development involves exploring and nurturing the total poise of all organizational systems and subsystems for ultimate high performance. It helps businesses position the intrinsic personal drivers (e.g., attributes, attitudes, talents, and skills), corporate vectors (e.g., mission, vision, values, ground rules, and processes) and external facilitators (e.g., methods, technologies, and tools) operating in organizational or business systems and their interfaces for long-run high performance. It involves using insightful technology and processes to foster effective synergy of organizational systems and subsystems.

Total Organization Poise is Key!

Total organization poise means effective organizational synergy and harmonious, transformational functional interdependencies of people and organizational systems—which position a business to actualize its strategic vision of long-term corporate excellence, leadership and high-performance. The ultimate challenge facing top management in a pulsating business environment is how to achieve and sustain maintain total organizational poise for breakthrough performance. This is the focus of total organization development.
When there is total poise in your organization, your business is in a position to attain breakthrough performance on a sustainable basis. The truth is that the nature of today's competition is beyond technology, but what drives technology, creativity and innovations: the superior essence of the human mind and character. This is where the competition would be—and is being—won or lost!
Top managers need to explore and address total organization development for their ultimate business mandate—that of creating the future of their businesses today.

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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