What is Organization Development Consulting and who needs it?

Organizational Development consulting ALSO known as OD Consulting is a professional service that assists seasoned or existing organizations in evaluating and possibly restructuring their current internal layout. An Organizational Development consultant may also work with new or upcoming organizations as well as community groups that wish to design and establish a working structure that is likely to support certain goals and objectives. The idea behind organizational consulting is to make the best use of all resources available by organizing them in the most logical and advantageous structural organization.

The process of organizational consulting can address the overall operations of the organization or focus on specific aspects. For example, an Organizational Development consultant may address the policies and procedures that govern the external and internal relations and support functions of the organization. Evaluations of the senior management team and its effectiveness may take place. The consultant may take a close look at the operational process, including how projects are conceptualized, implemented and evaluated. In all cases, the consultant will attempt to identify strengths within the system while also uncovering any inherent weaknesses in the current operation of the organization.

In order to enhance the internal operations of the organization, organizational consulting often relies on a number of tools. Executives and managers may be provided with classes on executive management and team dynamics. Customer or support personnel may be provided further training related to interaction with customers, including defusing tense situations, providing solutions to irate customers, and learning how to manage personal emotions in a professional manner, even if the client is not behaving professionally.

Organizational consulting may also address issues other than the proficiency and skill sets of existing employees and other personnel. The consulting effort may include assessing the logistics involved in the creation and delivery of products of services. For example, the consultant may determine that making a few minor changes to the design and process of a program will result in saving time and resources between necessary steps. At other times, making a change in the processes applied may be recommended as a way of updating the anticipated outputs and outcomes therein increasing efficiency.

Ultimately, organizational consulting comes up with a plan to improve the function of the organization. Board Members and management teams can then determine if they wish to implement all or part of the suggestions made by the consultant, and prioritize those suggestions if necessary. When a decision is made on what changes will take place, it is not unusual for the consultant to continue to work with the organization in order to implement the changes. For this reason, the overall process of organizational consulting may last for several months or even for a period of years.

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