Every OD practitioner is expected to respect and adhere to the organizational culture of any organization that they have the chance to work with. This way, it will be easier for the OD consultant to relate with the employees and the leaders of the organization. The best approach to take when one begins working with an organization as an OD consultant is to examine the organization’s cultural norms (Vosoughi, 2014). All the three levels of organizational culture (assumptions, values, and artifacts and behavior) must be understood so that the OD consultant can effectively and sustainably drive the necessary change (Vosoughi, 2014). The element of artifacts and behavior is the one that can easily be observed from the actions of the employees and their leaders. However, assumptions and values can be picked from the organizational mission or vision (Vosoughi, 2014).
Before any changes are implemented the OD practitioner must make sure that any underlying assumptions of the organization are studied and well understood (Vosoughi, 2014). The OD consultant is the change agent in this case. Therefore, he or she is responsible for helping the organization assess its culture as a way of helping them identify the points that need to be revised and changed (Vosoughi, 2014). According to Bartlett & Francis-Smythe (2016), an OD consultant must make use of the evidence-based approach. This means that the change agent must study and record data about the organization before deciding to make changes. At this point, the OD consultant will be in a better position to recommend improvements and enhancements (Bartlett & Francis-Smythe, 2016). This entire process will help the organization achieve its goals and objectives.
An OD consultant can minimize fear and disruption that is caused by the change process by taking the following steps (Lawrence, 1969):
Bartlett, D., & Francis-Smythe, J. (2016). Bridging the divide in work and organizational psychology: Evidence from practice. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(5), 615–630. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2016.1156672
Lawrence, P. R. (1969). How to Deal with Resistance to Change. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/1969/01/how-to-deal-with-resistanc…
Vosughi, M. (2014). Organizational Development Consulting: A Study of Expert Consultants’ Key Strategies. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 550. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi…
Very thought provoking post. As resistance is a natural phenomenon, understanding and working with it effectively is a key to successful consultation. Based on your readings, additional research, or experience, can you identify a consultation situation that indicated resistance? What behaviors were evident? What strategies might you keep in mind to address resistance. Looking forward to your response.