Posts Tagged ‘Human resources’

Nice article on corporate training traits: applies to OD practitioners/process consultants as well

August 10, 2014 Leave a comment


Nothing is more fun than three ring binders.

Nothing is more fun than three ring binders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nice article on corporate training traits: applies to OD practitioners/process consultants as well


especially useful for OD practitioners using Schein’s process consultation model, in their role as capacity builders, and condition setters


Integrated strategic change and how it differs from traditional strategic planning and traditional planned organization change

June 11, 2010 3 comments

Model of the Human Processor
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Cummings and Worley define the concept of integrated strategic change (ISC) as a comprehensive OD intervention that examines how plan change that can add value to strategic management. The integrative piece looks at a synthesis of business strategies and organizational systems responding together to external and/or internal disruptions. This strategic change plan then would help members manage the transition from current status and organizational designs to a desired future strategic orientation. The simultaneity of strategy and organizational design is the essence of the integrated change plan. ISC is one of the newer concepts in the OD repertoire.

ISC can be either radical or gradual in its systemic realignment between the environment and the businesses strategy. It has a results-focus while simultaneously examining processes, structure and strategies. It is concerned with the implementation, transition states, and human resources and not just the conceptual plan.

It looks simultaneously at strategy, operations and tactics; and both planning and execution. ISC considers three-time states: the present, the transition, and the desirable future. It goes beyond the isolated, rational analysis of traditional strategic planning to include human factors, culture and environment in the implementation phase. It is a highly participative process as opposed to traditional strategic change planning which typically resides in a small staff sell at the highest echelon in the executive branch of the organization.

It has four phases: strategic analysis, strategic choice, designing the change plan, and implementing the plan. The four steps are overlapping and iterative as opposed to linear and compartmentalized, as in the traditional methods.

Finally, ISC differs from traditional processes by examining strategic orientation as the unit of analysis; considers how to gain commitment and support for the strategic plan as an integral part of the overall plan; and incorporates elements at all echelons throughout the organization in analysis, implementation and monitoring effectiveness. Ownership is central to this concept.

My experience with Army strategic planning has been of the traditional variety and it’s clear that ISC is a better fit for the real world of managing change in large organizations. The annual off-site gathering of senior leaders to create a vision which is put on a shelf and back to business as normal is the stereotype, mostly true, of the traditional process. The pilot program of reengineering an Army installation that I participated in as the senior military planner, featured some of the elements of ISC and in those areas the plan was much more successful than when we applied traditional means. To the extent that we consider transitions in implementation, human factors, and incorporated stakeholders from every echelon, we were successful. When we tried to implement a top-down, from-a-distance strategic vision, we suffered the usual problems of traditional planning.

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Major demographic trends and implications for organizational development/design

June 5, 2010 3 comments

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...
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One trend is a growing recognition that diversity means more than simply cultural or racial differences; there’s recognition of this definition is too narrow. Diversity comes about from people with different resources, perspectives, and needs, preferences, expectations and lifestyles in addition to their cultural and racial makeup.

Another trend is the serious effort organizations are undertaking in order to account for these differences in order to attract and retain productive workforce and maintain competitive advantage.

Specific enduring trends and the types of interventions that are suggested from OD theory, taken from table 19.1, include:

Age: median age is increasing and the distribution is broadening which suggests personal or motivational approaches such as: wellness programs, job design, career planning and development, reward systems.

Gender: an increase in females in the workforce suggesting OD interventions like job design and fringe benefit rewards.

Disability: an increase in the number of people with disabilities entering the workforce, suggesting interventions like performance management, job design, career planning and development

Culture and values: a rising proportion of immigrant and minority groups leading to OD interventions such as career planning and development, employee involvement, and reward systems.

Sexual orientation: an increase in the number of single-sex households and broadening acceptance of sexual orientation, suggesting interventions like equal employment opportunities, fringe benefits, education and training.

The Army is at a crossroads with respect to sexual orientation and organizational values and traditions. There is a firestorm of political controversy¬† between the administration and the chiefs of staff concerning the potential repeal of don’t ask don’t tell. When the chairman of the joint Chiefs came and spoke at a college that was the number one question on people’s minds, since he had taken a position in opposition to the traditional military response which was that homosexuality was incompatible with military service, because of the effect on good order and discipline in the organization.

The administration has been talking about repealing the ¬†“don’t ask don’t tell” policy, but have done little to take the leadership role in this regard and so we see the issue being played out politically in the newspapers which is unseemly, unprofessional and nonmilitary. There is a risk of politics nation of the officer corps on this issue which would be the worst possible outcome regardless of which way the policy is resolved

Q4. Discuss various methods to diagnose employee stress OD interventions aimed at alleviating it in the work place.

Organizations are becoming more aware of the relationship between employee wellness and proactivity, with one estimate suggesting job stress costs US businesses over 300 billion annually. The response has been a rise of OD interventions such as fitness, wellness and stress management programs whose goals include individual well-being or wellness. Health is an important subcomponent of wellness as well as a cost for organizations.

Diagnosis of stress in the workplace can be diagnosed as he function of: physical environment, individual factors, group factors and organizational factors. Stress from all four dimensions lead to a variety of negative consequences for individuals as well as the organization. These consequences have personal organizational and monetary costs. The results in typical OD interventions include programs to improve things like: job clarification, supportive relationships, stress inoculation training, health facilities and employee assistance programs as outlined in figure 19.2.

Preliminary evidence suggests that fitness programs help reduce absenteeism and improve health as well as better mental health and resistance to stress. This remains an area where additional research is needed to pinpoint cause-and-effect relationships between programs and results but it’s clearly an area of great interest and potential.

Our college is leading the way for the Army when it comes to identifying total soldier fitness programs. The wellness program is the single dominant program which can allow officers to miss class without question. We have mandated physical and mental wellness checks and are looking at pushing this down to the Captains career course so that we get the benefit of establishing baselines and the development of stress management skills earlier in their career.

The latest topic that is on everyone’s mind is the nature of posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD where we are having difficulty in convincing the culture that this is a biological fact and an injury every bit as debilitating as a gunshot one. There are lingering superstitions and outdated cultural values related to manliness, courage and soldierly virtues which inhibit people from seeking the help they need and receiving the support from their peer groups.

This is an issue that is number one on the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army’s agenda and he made a special trip to our college to lay out the nature of the issue so that our officers can take good information in proper values back to the units after graduation.

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