Could Your Business Benefit From an Organization Development Specialist?
By Jennifer Comella, Training Manager
What is my job here at Marcum? Hmm. That’s a great question—and one I love to answer. I am an organization development (OD) specialist, so metaphorically speaking, I help business owners like a pair of transitions glasses helps someone see in the sunlight and in the fluorescent light.
What does that really mean for you?
You live and breathe your business every day. You’re especially close to it, so chances are, you hold strong views about the way things should operate in all areas of it. Simply put, you see your organization in one way; through my training and real-world experience with other organizations, I can help you see it through a different perspective—one that may open your eyes to broader possibilities.
What’s the value in that, you ask? I can help you understand how you and your team are contributing to the culture you either love or wish to change. I can also help you visualize how your approach toward people (and the approach of other company leaders) could potentially be adjusted if different perspectives of those in your organization are understood and appreciated by everyone.
Today, businesses of all sizes and scopes increasingly call upon OD specialists like me to help them optimize their culture and human capital in ways that help the organization grow and prosper. Business leaders may think their culture is strong, their people are happy, and their customers and clients are well-served as a result. They may very well be right. Yet, in our work, we see blind spots and gaps every day in otherwise-strong company cultures. Moreover, current or potential problems could be lurking beneath the surface of a company’s culture, invisible to those who don’t actively seek them out, but apparent to those who feel the impact.
Through formal, graduate-level training, practical experience and specialized insight, OD specialists are trained to recognize blind spots, gaps and warning signs throughout a business’ culture. We also identify unique cultural strengths and leverage those to design and deploy a cultural foundation for your business’ success.
This foundation is different for every business, but there are several common building blocks that OD specialists often use to frame out a winning culture:
- We look at the factors outside and inside the business that affect its culture, current performance and growth potential. A complete analysis of the big picture allows us to recommend very small tweaks such as adjusting seating arrangements, or large-scale changes such as adjustments to staffing levels that position the business for higher morale, increased retention and higher performance.
- We help businesses create core values, or redefine existing core values, if they merit re-examination.
- We help businesses with professional and personal development, either by creating an organization-wide professional development program, or by deploying training and team-building sessions based on specific needs.
- We help create and implement performance processes such as goal-setting programs and employee engagement surveys. From that, we then create and implement individual and/or team action plans based on survey feedback and other measures.
In the end, the benefits of this work to a business are clear:
- It creates a more positive company culture.
- It formalizes human resources programs and processes where few or none may have previously existed. This gives employees clear direction as to policies, procedures and expectations—and it gives employers valuable protection.
- It provides employees with a chance to grow and develop their business acumen—e.g., communication skills, listening skills and interacting with management. This helps to boost communication throughout a company and build trust.
- All of this helps to lower turnover, increase engagement and retain employees.
In a future blog, I’ll detail specific ways in which OD specialists do what we do and explain how that can position today’s companies to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment.