Head - Operations & Delivery
Jyoti S. Ansari
Sr. Hr Executive
Interventions that define : Activities that specify or clarify the vision, mission, purpose, process, products, services, market position, roles, relationships, responsibilities, outcomes, expectations, and so on. Examples: holding sessions to create vision statements; confirming market direction and market niche; mutually setting performance goals. This intervention is delivered when people are unclear, disagree, or have different expectations; there are conflicting objectives; or people do not have a shared understanding.
Interventions that inform: Activities that communicate goals, objectives, expectations, results, discrepancies, and so on. Examples: producing internal newsletters; holding debriefing sessions; giving feedback. This intervention is delivered when information has changed, the people have changed, or the people are uninformed, and the consequence is poor performance; or people don't get the information they need.
Interventions that document: Activities that codify information (to preserve it and make it accessible. Examples: setting up libraries; creating manuals, expert systems, job aids, and decision guides. This intervention is delivered when information is not accessible over time or is too complex; job aids, manuals, help screens, and so forth are lacking or inadequate, inaccurate, or hard to access.
Interventions that reward: Activities and programs that induce and maintain desired behaviors, eliminate undesirable behaviors, and reward desired outcomes. Examples: holding public ceremonies and annual recognition events; paying for performance. This intervention is delivered when current incentives either reinforce the wrong behaviors or ignore the desired behaviors; or there are few incentives for people to-do beater, more, or differently.
Intervention that measure: Activities and systems that provide metrics and benchmarks so people can monitor performance and have a basis to evaluate it. Examples: developing a scorecard; tracking means and variance in performance over time. This intervention is delivered when people don?t know what criteria are being used to judge productivity, performance, value, and so on, and they could better control their own performance if they knew what the criteria were; measures of good performance are lacking; or measures are inappropriate.
Interventions that enforce: Activities that actualize consequences and achieve compliance. Example: policing; reviewing; double-checking; suspending; removing; withholding pay. This intervention is delivered when consequences for poor performance or unacceptable behavior are hidden or not enforced.
Interventions that organize: Activities that change the structure or arrange business units, reporting relationships, work processes, jobs, and tasks. Examples: reengineering processes; merging functions; reorganizing responsibilities. This intervention is delivered when the current structure is inefficient, results in redundancy, adds excess costs, overly burdens cycle times, and hides accountability.
Interventions that standardize: Activities that systematize or automate processes and standardize tasks, tools, equipment, materials, components, or measures. Examples: adopting ISO 9000; implementing uniform standards. This intervention is delivered when deviations in equipment, materials, specifications, procedures, common practices, and so on add extra costs, result in low yields, and cause variance in the quality of work.
Interventions that (re) design: Activities that result in useful, easy-to-use, safe, and ergonomically designed environments, workplaces, equipment, and tolls. Examples: building in safety features; designing for ease of installation, service, maintenance, and upgrading. This intervention is delivered when the current work space, equipment, tools, or materials encumber, result in non-value adding activity. Or put employees? health and safety at risk.
Interventions that reframe: Activities and programs that generate new paradigms so that people can experience new perspectives, find creative solutions, integrate new concepts into their behavior, and manage change. Examples: challenging assumptions; engaging in dialogue/ entering into new alliances; brainstorming; creating alternative futures. This intervention is delivered when old attitudes about work are preventing innovation or growth.
Interventions that counsel: activities and programs that help individuals, either singularly or collectively, deal with work, personal, career, family, and financial issue. Examples: offering on-site daycare, retirement seminars, on-site physical fitness canters, and employee assistance programs. This intervention is delivered when people are preoccupied with or distracted by personal and career issues, and this is limiting productivity or adding unnecessary costs.
Interventions that develop: Activities and programs that expand skills and knowledge. Examples: offering training, coaching, and structured on-the-job experiences. This intervention is delivered when current performance is suffering or future performance will suffer because people lack skills and knowledge.
Interventions that align: Activities and programs that work toward congruency between purpose and practice. Examples: setting up cross-functional teams; soliciting customer (internal and external) feedback. This intervention is delivered when current massages, behaviors, systems, structures, or environments do net support the organization?s goals.
The Major Families of OD Interventions
Not all OD programs contain all the possible intervention activities, but a wide range of activities is available to the practitioner. As we see it, the following are the major "families" or types of OD interventions.
1. Diagnostic Activities: Fact-finding activities designed to ascertain the state of the system, the status of a problem, the "way things are." Available methods range from projective devices such as build a collage that represents for you your place in this organization to the more traditional data collection methods of interviews, questionnaires, surveys, and meetings.
2. Team-Building Activities: Activities designed to enhance the effective operation of system teams. They may relate to task issues, such as the way things are done, the needed skills to accomplish tasks, the resource allocations necessary for task accomplishments; or they may relate to the nature and quality of the relationships between the team members or between members and the leader. Again, a wide range of activities is possible. In addition, consideration is given to the different kinds of teams that may exist in the organization, such as formal work teams, temporary task force teams, newly constituted teams, and cross-functional teams.
3. Intergroup Activities: Activities designed to improve effectiveness of interdependent groups. They focus on joint activities and the output of the groups considered as a single system rather than as two subsystems. When two groups are involved, the activities are generally designated intergroup or interface activities; when more than two groups are involved, the activities are often called organizational mirroring.
4. Survey Feedback Activities: Related to and similar to the diagnostic activities mentioned in that they are a large component of those activities. However, they are important enough in their own right to be considered separately. These activities center on actively working the data produced by a survey and designing action plans based on the survey data.
5. Education and Training Activities: Activities designed to improve skills, abilities, and knowledge of individuals. There are several activities available and several approaches possible. For example, the individual can be educated in isolation from his or her own work group (say, in a T-group comprised of strangers), or one can be educated in relation to the work group (say, when a work team learns how better to manage interpersonal conflict). The activities may be directed toward technical skills required for effective task performance or may be directed toward improving interpersonal competence. The activities may be directed toward leadership issues, responsibilities and functions of group members, decision making, problem solving, goal setting and planning, and so forth.
6. Structural Activities: Activities designed to improve the effectiveness of the technical or structural inputs and constraints affecting individuals or groups. The activities may take the form of (a) experimenting with new organization structures and evaluating their effectiveness in terms of specific goals or (b) devising new ways to bring technical resources to bear on problems.
7. Process Consultation Activities: Activities on the part of the consultant that help the client to perceive, understand, and act upon process events which occur in the client's environment. These activities perhaps more accurately describe an approach, a consulting mode in which the client is given insight into the human processes in organizations and taught skills in diagnosing and managing them. Primary emphasis is on processes such as communications, leader and member roles in groups, problem solving and decision making, group norms and group growth, leadership and authority, and intergroup cooperation and competition.
8. Coaching and Counseling Activities: Activities that entail the consultant or other organization members working with individuals to help them (a) define learning goals, (b) learn how others see their behavior, and (c) learn new modes of behavior to see if these help them to achieve their goals better. A central feature of this activity is the non-evaluative feedback given by others to an individual. A second feature is the joint exploration of alternative behaviors.
9. Planning and Goal-Setting Activities: Activities that include theory and experience in planning and goal setting, utilizing problem-solving models, planning paradigms, ideal organization versus real organization "discrepancy'' models, and the like. The goal of all of them is to improve these skills at the levels of the individual, group, and total organization.
10. Strategic Management Activities: Activities that help key policy makers reflect systematically on their organization's basic mission and goals and environmental demands, threats, and opportunities and engage in long-range action planning of both a reactive and proactive nature. These activities direct attention in two important directions: outside the organization to a consideration of the environment, and away from the present to the future.
25th July 2007 From India, Nagpur
OD intervention is the acronym for "Organizational Development"interventions. This is a practice involving various measures used for managing the HR practices in an organization.
Predominantly OD interventions are based on "Action Research" whereby the HR specialists (may have focus groups as well) will identify key issues and the cause effect analysis thereof in order to develop measures/programs for resolution
OD interventions can be of three types
Systemic interventions are those where a series of changes are being made to enhance the effectivness of the systems followed at the organization. This is at the toplogical level . Eg: Compensation & benefits system. Understanding the market pay practices and reward mechanisms alongside the various norms of managing the base pay, variable pay etc to ensure a robust C&B system. This is through a careful study and analysis resulting in action points to implement
People interventions are meant to increase people efficacy for better productivity. this can be viewed from individual and team perspective. using measures to benchmark individual performances and identifying developmental requirements are individual level interventions. The T-group or Leaderless group discussions, team building etc are to be viewed from the team/unit level interventions
Process intervetnions are meant for the efficeincy of the process by bringing in necessary improvements from the quality,cost and time perspectives. Redefining a recruitment process to ensure the quality candidates are taken in (measuring through performance appraisal) and legitimity through background verification process can be considered as an example for the same
The intervetnions are meant to bring efficinecy and effectiveness in the system, process and people in an organization resulting in productivity results and engagement
Hope this helps you in understanding OD to a small extent
Head - Operations & delivery
25th July 2007 From India, Bangalore