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Importance of Organization Development


Midland University’s Master of Science in Leadership and Talent Development (MS-LTD) program helps students entering the organization development field to build skills they can use to consult with clients, design interventions (coaching, consulting, leadership development, talent development), and measure results.

What is Organization Development?

Organization Development (OD) is a field dedicated to improving the health and vitality of an organization. The work of an OD practitioner aims to align strategy and culture with the work of leaders and teams, with a behavioral science approach.

Organization Development in the HR space

In the HR space, Organization Development practitioners work closely with an Employee Relations area to analyze repeated issues with a leader and/or team to find a systemic solution.

An OD department also partners with HR in the work of performance management. While HR is responsible for the Human Resources Information System (HRIS), compensation, hiring and maintaining documentation, most of the performance management cycle is supported by those in the OD field. For example, this type of department provides performance-based evaluations, development conversations, individual development plans, talent review, and succession planning.

Benefits of Organization Development for Organizations

Organizations who utilize this type of development benefit from leaders and teams that align their work to the strategic plans of the organization which strengthens company culture and engagement, leadership development, and succession planning. Organizations also benefit from providing in-house resources rather than hiring outside consultants who don’t know the mission, or people as well, which can also lead to huge cost-savings. 

Two Things to Remember

  1. Culture drives organizations – An organization’s culture is the sense of how things get done around the business. 
  2. Employee engagement drives people – Employee engagement is how employees feel about how things are done around the business. 

Engagement drives retention of employees, a company’s greatest asset. Having OD staff in your company can ensure someone is dedicated to keeping their finger on the pulse of the organization, and escalating common themes and trends to senior leadership. This focus, coupled with alignment of strategy and performance, can help strengthen the health and vitality of the organization. 

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