Friday, November 23, 2012

Organizational Development: Planned Intervention Final Project

Organizational Development (OD) is the process whereby management is made up of internal and/or external experts assuming leadership, while putting into effect continuous effort through a variety of regenerative changes and solutions through programs (Brown, 2011). The effective OD has both short and long term programs with goals, which are aimed to enable the endurance of the learning organization practice. Changes that are solutions to problems are a regenerative process. OD practice is when the practitioner(s) use OD intervention techniques to operate programs that lead its organizational practices allowing it to grow through managing changes and challenges within contemporary competitive global markets. The major change for this generation is the vastly technological gains that lead this digitization era.
The OD intervention plan that will be discussed in this project will involve a Not-For-Profit (NFP) organization that this student is working for as a member of its management team. The NFOP organization was established in 1833, as the Benevolent Society of NY Capital District to assist indigent women, children and orphan asylum. The 2008 economic meltdown and current recession horribly impacted this NFP organization by eroding finance investments, minimized donations, increased operational costs and lessened income from government funds. Leadership and management have worked tirelessly through salaried employees/management furlough, program cuts, benefit reductions, division/department merger, workforce reduction and hiring of new CEO on Spring of 2012. But still, there is a great need of an OD intervention plan toward aggressive regenerative culture change starting at leadership, management and union employees (Direct Care Workers) DCW. Clearly, the solution here is regarding the OD change that will focus on culture change with structural, technological and behavioral strategies; also the OD team needs to be skillful to process interventions (Brown, 2011).
Currently, the organization cares for children and adults with developmental disabilities (special developmental, emotional, and behavioral needs) working with their families. It is the multi-service organization i.e. providing residential programs, group homes, behavioral juvenile school campus, a day treatment program, clinical services, crisis intervention, respite services, and in-home parent assistance programs.  The faces of the organization and programs have transformed since its establishment in 1833, the needs of the youth, individuals and families remain continuous to feel safe, to receive quality care, to receive comfort and to grow and thrive. Thus, the goals have transformed and diversified due to new community demands and the mission remains the same. The overtime organizational transformation on goals, structure, design and the constant need for OD change to become regenerative is the proof of what Brown (2011), demonstrated that OD change is inevitable and organizations need to right-size, restructure, flatter, reengineer, transform, and or downsize.
The main theme of this project paper is to focus toward leadership and OD planned interventions relating to the inefficiencies in the organization that this student works for. 2008 was an awakening point of this NFP organization from its deep sleep in the status quo mentality. Although, after the 2008 recession the NFP has taken immediate measures that helped to restore its financial status back to stability, the underlying problems that lead it to be so vulnerable during such drastic changes are still viable today and tomorrow, its corporate culture still doesn’t allow enough change that is regenerative. Like many organizations, the NFP organization needs leadership that is capable to assemble OD teams that can deliver needed strategic changes, collaboration methodology, improved performance, useful potential human capital, OD interconnectivity system value, and useful scientific approach (Brown, 2011). Thus, organizational learning could become the process that it succeeds by with training and empowering employees collectively (Mohanty & Kar, 2012).
Here, the OD professionals needs to tap on its employees’ skills by optimizing team development and general organizational performances that will require the leadership aptitude that embrace team-building and being a team-player with the capacity to choose the right team-players (Levasseur, 2011). The challenge is for the NFP OD intervention to grasp the world and its people that are changing, and successfully utilizing its intervention techniques planning for the organization’s need to change, above all keep up with change; because technology is vastly transforming our way of life.
Then the NFP organization under the new CEO comes with the expectations of which were so high, but now are dull. The new CEO’s main job was to form an OD team with an intervention plan by being tactful in aggressively regenerating constant culture change starting at his/her visionary leadership, management and union employee/DCW contract that is so dormant. In order for the organization to become successful it must have an OD team that will make it a dynamic engine of change constantly; of which the new CEO has either got stuck initiating change of its corporate culture, which is the system of the way things are done in the organization (Brown, 2011). Surely, change and resistance to change can be frustrating, but this course taught that OD professionals need to be persistent, incorporate an ability to learn and change and become a leader who can influence the organization to accept the needed change.
The new CEO should have been the agent of change and initiate the OD planned intervention toward culture change. Selecting an OD intervention plan could give the new NFP administration a strategy, methods and techniques to lay out the OD team plan and direction on how to achieve change and organizational goals through a culture of accepting change (Brown, 2011). In doing so, the NFP CEO will need to consider potential results, implementation and acceptance of the intervention techniques and for the OD team propose aspects of concern for its professionals to select and implement the right intervention plan (Brown, 2011).
For example, the Union Contract and management’s code of conduct have potential aspects of the Parkinson’s Law theory resulting to problems of inefficient practices i.e. manipulation of work principle by creating labor force contrary to the production, extension of work-hours so that union employees can get agreed work-hours even though such extra cost won’t improve production, and its management’s use of principles that influence subordinate increase by decreasing competition that creates check and balance (Brown, 2011). These are the necessary steps that the new NFP CEO need to focus its OD intervention plans and bring about the necessary change that can alter DNA of the corporate culture to constantly accept change as they come based on time and space. Fagiano (1994), said that “to shift a culture you must shift a collection of belief” (p. 4) because an organization is made up of people with cultures and beliefs, which are the underlying aspects that will need to be addressed by the OD professionals’ intervention plans that are intended for corporate culture change. So far, the CEO has failed to understand the nature of how to process and develop a team to fully execute union culture change and that is stalling each set team and goals addressing the problems. Therefore, there is great need to have an input on union contracts while forming an OD team and the CEO has to use the four hierarchy stages: (1) forming by selecting qualified team members with set goals; (2) storming as a very important part in developing crucial relationships and addressing conflicts among members; (3) norming by bonding and develop strategy; and (4) performing by gaining team development and function as one on goals (Levasseur, 2011).
Also, it will be wise for the CEO to consult an external OD expert and form an OD team that will include internal and external practitioners; the OD team with the blessings of the CEO needs to categorize the types of interventions recommended to bring about the needed change. Brown (2011), outlined the employees, teams, intergroup and total organizational system as four types of OD interventions, behavioral, structural and technological as categories of the types of the OD interventions. Here, the CEO, as member of the OD team, will have to understand that both OD interventions categories and types will need to be planned constantly aiming to carry out change that will attain organizational goals in both long and short term changing its culture.
Expectedly, when the new CEO was hired expectations were that he/she will carry out an OD intervention plan that will resolve financial problems, spot-on systemic inefficiencies, generate more opportunities for OD growth and develop OD strengths (Brown, 2011). To analyze and evaluate if her/his policies and leadership skills if are working is remain to be told, since the length of the policies and strategies is so short to get accuracy. But, so far the agency has seen some good results that have a very sharp contrast between the new and former CEOs. The new CEO has increased residents/individuals to fill-in empty beds, is heavily engaged in fund raising and lobbying the donors (government, institutions and wealthy individuals), engaging the surrounding community, has opened two new programs, has pushed for cuts in spending by streamlining programs, but still has not yet managed to force a culture change that increases reward accountability and punishes inefficiencies. The successful OD will need to have an intervention process that allows everyone to be accountable. The contrast between these two CEOs is due to their professional backgrounds. The new CEO is a politician and former State Commissioner, and the former CEO is a clinician with more experience to the population the NFP organization is serving. This has made them to have a sharper contrast on how both come up with clear and different philosophical answers after looking at the same data. That’s why the new CEO has not yet managed to crack the care-service problems, which is the core-culture of the NFP organization with multiple professional specializations of certified professionals from social workers, healthcare/nurses, psychologists, behaviorists, counselors and DCW; while the former CEO was successful dealing with quality care services, but severely squandered on the financing and keeping running the programs at full capacity.
Undeniably, to improve performance that allows the organization to grow the CEO needs to address the organizational culture trajectory to accept change as they come. Also, the plausible solution for the OD team to manage such change will have to accommodate the local, state and federal governing laws and regulation of the license and certified professionals’ ethical standards. This is the fine line to walk and the CEO needs to know what the ramification of ethics can create when the OD team overreaches to force change. Therefore, it’s wise for the CEO to reach out to these licensed and certified professionals as internal practitioners and some external practitioners who can work together on the team with accordance of the governing laws and regulations to meet the organizational ethical expectations while managing culture change. The OD team has to be consistent with written policies that clearly explain the positions and to-do lists of each and every employee/professional of the NFP organization.
However, the current to-do list policies of the employees are vague and not specifically explained. In results, there is an existence of a certain set of rules for one group that seems not to be applicable to another, although employees involved may have been performing same job or ranked the same. This creates confusion, distorts the employees’ morale and questions the professional ethical obligations of the employees. OD teams can use training to educate employees and set out expectations through Quality Assurance and Information Technology, which collaborates with Human Resources together teaming up to inform and enlighten employees.  By doing so, the OD team will prepare organizations and all its employees for a successful learning process, which will be the new perspective for the NFP organizations to stress learning to itself and its employees. Therefore, it will acquire added values that will help to achieve new knowledge, which will enlighten the employees’ life and significantly improve their working conditions and outcomes (Mohanty & Kar, 2012).
The need for the OD team to improve performance as strategy of effectiveness is vivid. Before the new CEO was hired, the NFP used Information Technology (IT) as infrastructure for Information System (IS) that simplified organizational tasks with efficiency and effectiveness meeting demands of clients’ satisfactions. The new CEO has launched a superb boost on IT/IS that meet the state requirements of using precision care network that all data of care and services provided by NFP organization to be documented online in real time of each shift. The CEO needs to use IT/IS program and push for more accountability, contrary to the union contract, and fully manage to streamline time, supplies and other resources that once used to track down such information from multiple programs all around the Greater Capital District. Because the state-of-art collecting IS real-time data can give the OD team an added advantage toward a decision making process to effectively attain its goals, managing change.  This will gradually change the corporate culture because management is already trained; now employees/DCW need to be trained to fully utilize the “intranet” network for everything i.e. from time card, menu, communication, clients’ data, medical appointments, compliance training, shift briefings, client individual logs, clinical data, meeting notes and all daily data for all programs.
On the other hand, if corporate culture is a contributive way for the employee to do things and respond to each and every aspect of life within the organization, to spur growth OD professionals must have knowledge of the organizational culture, which is unique to every organization attributed by its individuals (Brown, 2011).  Considering that organizations are made up of people who have different cultures and sub-cultures, such knowledge will greatly help the OD team to forge a path that can conquer employees’ mind and attain the organizational goals. Hence, the CEO will benefit with culture change for the NFP to grow, simplifying the management, and be better equipped with empowered employees who can take-on change head-on before it is forced on them unprepared.
The NFP organization needs to integrate Richard Beckhard’s OD theory to plan its interventions organizational wide by managing from the CEO’s office to DCW by increasing OD effectiveness and plan such interventions through its processes in using behavioral science knowledge theory (Brown, 2011). It is imperative for the new NFP organization’s CEO to manage change through OD programs that will need to include more emphasis on ways to improve and enhance performance and quality of care services the organization provides (Brown, 2011). The theory here is for the leadership through the OD team to turn the NFP organization into a learning organization that will be able to transcend innovational technology, as well as, becoming flexible in retorting its employees and their dependability familiarizing to the constant changing environment and competitive markets (Brown, 2011).  The NFP organization as a learning organization means successful continuation on growth by managing the future while accepting changes and challenges.
The organization’s success will depend on how the CEO’s intervention plan assembles its OD team, sets out visionary goals, strategize OD change, executes these goals, prepares the employees to undergo change gradually to avoid resistance, brings on board all employees (including the licensed and certified professionals), and to balances the books. Also, the CEO has to understand that to run the learning organization is to value effective teamwork and employee collaboration by investing time, efforts and resources to ensure that employees can and do work effectively together, ultimately as one team to achieve overall organizational goals (Tosti, 2007).
Tosti (2007), articulated a theory that too much emphasis on team work without collaboration could lead to negativity of us-against-them boldness resulting to denying others demands and possible competitions contrary to the organizational goals. With this understanding, the CEO and the OD plan has to untangle the learning organization theory as the process of an organization enhancing learning and organizational learning theory as the process that organization success is attained by its employees collectively to embrace change that always stay competitive and grows. Thus, the organization will manage and defend respect, teamwork, collaboration, OD shared goals, greater performance, shared power and transparence.
Lastly, this organization has been around since 1830’s and has testimony that the world is constantly changing and that today’s organization will not be the organization of the future if the OD team is not well equipped, bringing about culture change, growth and competitiveness (Brown, 2011). Also, as a student of OD, the employee’s empowerment, which focuses on technology and innovation is the key to the OD success. Pertaining to the need for team development as part of the OD planned intervention requires employee empowerment that can be found in work groups, projects, task-force, and committees which are the tools used by the OD to achieve the organizational goals (Brown, 2011).The NFP CEO has to successfully utilize the modern OD team as the strategy for culture change. Therefore, the successful OD team planned intervention strategy must resonate with employees of the organization and allow them all to function at their respective specializations/profession with common end results that are in collaboration with producing goods and services that will attract and please clients effectively and efficiently. The CEO needs to manage the OD team, foster employee empowerment and interventions by applying the planned intervention techniques and technology that will tap on the employees’ potential in managing culture change that allow the organization to grow (Brown, 2011). 

Brown, D.  (2011). An experiential approach to organization development, 8th Ed. Upper saddle river, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Fagiano, D. (1994). Altering the corporate DNA. Management review, 83(12), 4.
Levasseur, R. E. (2011). People skills: Optimizing team development and performance. Interfaces, 41(2), 204-208. doi:10.1287/inte.1100.0519.
Mohanty, K., & Kar, S. (2012). Achieving innovation and success: Organizational learning. SCMS Journal of indian management, 9(1), 36-42.
Nejad, B., Abbaszadeh, M., Hassani, M., & Bernousi, I. (2012). Study of the entrepreneurship in universities as learning organization based on senge model. International education studies, 5(1), 67-77. doi:10.5539/ies.v5n1p67.
Tosti, D. T. (2007). Partnering: A powerful performance intervention. Performance improvement, 46(4), 25-29. doi:10.1002/pfi.121.

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