Organizational Design vs Organizational Development

Is your organization well designed?

How do you know?  What does a well designed organization look like, and how does it feel to work there?  How is it different from a poorly designed one?

The answers to these questions lie in the functional structure, also known as the Organization Design, of your work place.  You’ve heard the term before, “Organization Design”.  The words are familiar to you at a high level, yet may be indistinct as to how they apply to your organization.
Although the concept has been around for ages, many HR professionals are unaware of its strategic impact, and more importantly, how Organization Design should be approached.

In this paper we will examine the concept of Organization Design (OD) and how it can work in your organization.

Doesn’t OD mean Organization Development?

While they share the same acronym, Organization Design is not to be confused with Organization Development.  In fact, these are two separate concepts. Organization Development deals with the “people” side of business performance; leadership, team dynamics, and operational effectiveness.

Organization Development is an effort that is planned, organization wide, and managed from the top.  It is intended to increase organization effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization’s process, using behavioral science knowledge.    It is used to change beliefs, attitudes and values in an organization.  Organization Development entails leadership coaching, effective communication strategies, and change awareness to name a few factors.

The key to recognizing the difference is to understand that Organization Development is a response to Organization Design.  In simpler terms, Organization Development deals with “soft matters”, while Organization Design is “hard”.

Read More