C. Leemans. (2012) How Organizations trigger Sustainable Performance. A Mental Model for Organizational Development.
In this short article, we try to summarize our main ‘assumptions’ about how an organization can sustainably develop their performance. That mental model about Organizational Performance and Development guides also our ‘work’ as Organization Development consultant or process facilitator and more generally our Move! approach to organizational learning, change & performance improvement.
It is a plea, scientifically underpinned, for a collaborative organizational culture, creating the conditions to learn and to innovate.
The Organization Development approach is looking at the organization as a social system and sees behavioral change fundamentally as a systemic, social and relational process, triggered by the organizational ‘setup’ (the ‘architecture’ of the organization). “Organization development is a system-wide process of application and transfer of behavioral-science knowledge to the planned development, improvement and reinforcement of the strategies, structures and processes that lead to (sustainable) organizational effectiveness”. That means that we focus our interventions also on ‘the system’ and the interactions within the system. We do not think that individual coaching or training of individuals in (often) isolated competencies, will in and of itself change the way the system behaves nor will it result in sustainable change, learning capability or business results for the organization. Consultants who believe that, will still use from time to time coaching and training, but embeded in a holistic intervention, combining it with more organization focused tools such as : Large Group Interventions, Force Field Analysis, Action Research, Appreciative Inquiry, Team Coaching, etc…