Dr. Joy Canfield
When working with groups, departments, and organizations, the consultant initially observes and listens as she identifies needs in the system. In reaction to individual needs within group members and in relation to the overarching mission of the group, team, or company, the consultant develops organizational development strategies that flexibly fit with the tone and mission of the organization.
One of the emphases of organization development consultation is to convey the essence and purpose of the company’s mission and vision to employees from the outset of their employment and on a perennial basis. This approach can be implemented through participation, goal setting, feedback, and rejuvenating, motivational programs. By aligning personal goals with the goals of the organization and maintaining a development of substantive responsibility, employee satisfaction is likely to increase throughout the organization, and absenteeism and turnover are likely to be reduced. Each of these improvements typically results in overall job satisfaction and productivity.
The focus of leadership training typically emphasizes the merits and effectiveness of a transformational leadership style, however, one must be mindful that systems and individuals who comprise a system vary from one to another necessitating a flexible, case by case approach in working with managers and their departments. And in keeping with a best practice methodology, when an approach or a system is not working, it may well be necessary to make a change in the environment by applying Lewin’s strategy of “unfreezing” the status quo, changing the mindset or dysfunctional mode of operation, and ultimately crystallizing or “freezing” the revised, more functional method of working together. There are a number of methods that may be implemented to create a more functional operation, ideally customized to the makeup and personality of the system. Finding a balance based on a flexible outlook toward human behavior – individuals and groups alike – is the key to developing a long term healthy, thriving organization.