Organization development strategy is based on the aspiration to improve organizational capability, which is broadly the capacity of an organization to function effectively in order to achieve desired results. It has been defined more specifically by Ulrich and Lake (1990: 40) as ‘the ability to manage people for competitive advantage’. It is concerned with mapping out intentions on how the organization should be structured to meet new demands, on system-wide change in fields such as reward and performance management, on how change should be managed, on what needs to be done to
improve organizational processes involving people such as teamwork, communications and participation, and on how the organization can acquire, retain, develop and engage the talent it needs. These intentions will be converted
into actions on structure design, systems development and, possibly, OD-type interventions.
The process of integrated strategic change as conceived by Worley et al (1996) can be used to formulate and implement organization development strategies. The steps required are:
- Strategic analysis – a review of the organization’s strategic orientation (its strategic intentions within its competitive environment) and a diagnosis of the organization’s readiness for change.
- Develop strategic capability – the ability to implement the strategic plan quickly and effectively.
- Integrate individuals and groups throughout the organization into the processes of analysis, planning and implementation to maintain the firm’s strategic focus, direct attention and resources to the organization’s key competencies, improve coordination and integration within the organization, and create higher levels of shared ownership and commitment.
- Create the strategy, gain commitment and support for it and plan its implementation.
- Implement the strategic change plan, drawing on knowledge of motivation, group dynamics and change processes, dealing with issues such as alignment, adaptability, teamwork and organizational and individual learning.
- Allocate resources, provide feedback and solve problems as they arise.