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8 Implementation: Process Level

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OVERVIEW The process level focuses on organizational processes, including many concepts associated with quality improvement, including continuous process improvement/total quality management, six sigma, business process reengineering, benchmarking/best practices, and sociotechnical systems.

T

he term process is used in many ways. In fact, most of this book is about processes—how we relate to others, how we create and support culture change in organizations, how we work across cultures, and so on. The focus of this chapter is not about the processes that we use as

OD professionals but, rather, about the processes used by the organization to produce its products or deliver its services. As with all of the categories used to structure this book, this is a somewhat artificial distinction, as some products and services are delivered by teams, but those processes are covered in Chapter 7, while Chapters 6, 9, 10, and 11 focus largely on people processes. This chapter considers interventions that are useful in improving organizational processes. Process interventions are part of the Implementation phase shown in Figure 8.1.

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10 Implementation: Organizational Level

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OVERVIEW At the organizational level, the most important interventions improve strategic thinking and strategic alignment. Important OD contributions to this process included in this chapter are organization design; company-wide survey; learning organization; organizational learning; culture change; accountability and reward systems; succession planning; valuing differences/diversity; mission, vision, values, and philosophy development; strategic planning; large-scale interactive events; open systems mapping; future search; and open space technology meetings.

W

e turn now to those interventions that are intended to impact the whole organization. As recognized in Chapter 5, however, within systems theory, all of the levels covered in the preceding chapters also impact the whole organization in some way. Although I have categorized the interventions to fit into different levels of targets of impact, the distinction in levels (and thus in these chapters) is somewhat artificial.

Implementation targeted specifically at the organizational level is one more aspect of the implementation phase, as identified in Figure 10.1.

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11 Implementation: Community and National Levels

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OVERVIEW A relatively recent phenomenon, especially in the global context, has been the application of OD principles, values, and techniques in community contexts and at national levels. In a world increasingly threatened with violence, the skill set of experienced OD professionals has the possibility of offering that expertise to communities, nations, regions, and worldwide nongovernmental organizations

(NGOs) to help build stronger communities and to counter widespread violence.

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s specified in Chapter 1, an organization is any group of two or more coming together with a common purpose. Historically, the focus of OD work has been on for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including subsystems of those organizations. Increasingly, however, there has been an awareness of the importance of the skills of OD in developing communities, nations, regions, and worldwide NGOs.

This emerging focus is consistent with the Implementation phase of the

ODP model (see Figure 11.1).

The OD Institute has been very influential in sending teams of OD professionals to areas of the world where conflict between groups has been prevalent. Teams have been sent to Northern Ireland, South

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7 Implementation: Team and Interteam Levels

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OVERVIEW This level of intervention includes interventions to strengthen teams or formal groups and improve the relationships between teams or groups. These interventions include dialogue sessions, team building (the most common OD intervention), process consultation, team effectiveness, meeting facilitation, fishbowls, brainstorming, interteam conflict management, and strategic alignment assessment.

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atzenbach and Smith (1993) suggested that a team is a group of interdependent people sharing a common purpose, having common work methods, and holding each other accountable. This chapter focuses on the teams that exist in organizations. Team/work group and interteam interventions are part of the Implementation phase shown in

Figure 7.1.

The number of intervention types focused on the team or group level is almost endless. This chapter will expand on a few of them in some detail as examples of what an OD professional might find appropriate in helping improve team or group functioning. The OD professional needs to be sure to use team interventions only when there is a need for people to work together interdependently. Using the intervention for the sake of having an intervention, rather than for the purpose of transforming the team, is neither effective nor productive. Many of the basic definitions of the interventions presented here were covered in

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