Organizational Development


Change in the environment in which for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental organizations operate is rapidly accelerating, which requires organizations to be more adaptive and innovative.  At the same time, 85-90% of all problems our company faces are caused by ourselves or our company (as opposed to outside forces). This is because the existing structure and culture of most organizations unintentionally results in inefficiencies, reduced productivity, and unengaged employees. Only a small percentage of people are psychologically committed to their jobs.  Frustration, burnout, disillusionment, and misalignment with personal values are the most common reasons given.  A 2013 Gallup poll, for example, found that only 13% of employed people were truly engaged at work.

Organizational adaptation and innovation are largely affected by management and leadership skills.  They also are affected, if not determined, by the organizational structure and culture, apart from the traits of any individual leader or manager.  Two closely-related approaches to organizational development facilitated by Partners in Thought® support are learning organizations and developmental organizations (including "Deliberately Developmental Organizations" or "DDOs").  If modeled by the leaders, organizational behaviors, structures, and procedures can be instituted to generate a more highly efficient, innovative, adaptive, productive, and personally-fulfilling workplace.

“The better [a person] is, the more mistakes [they] will make, for the more new things [they] will try. I would never promote to a top-level job a [person] who was not making mistakes [because that person] is sure to be mediocre.”
— Peter Drucker

Remarkable recent research established that different teams have different collective intelligences.  Just like an individual’s intelligence score predicts his or her achievement in a wide variety of subject matters, collective intelligence of a team predicts achievement by the team in a wide variety of domains.  Interestingly, collective intelligence of a team is not correlated with the average intelligence of its members or the intelligence of the highest IQ member of the team.  The seminal study establishing a collective intelligence found the strongest predictors of high collective intelligence were (a) the average social sensitivity of the team’s members, (b) the equal distribution of talking by all members of the team, and (c) the inclusion of women on the team.  (The third factor appears to be an artifact of the first factor because women tend, on average, to carry higher social sensitivity than men.)  Inspired by this research, Google® conducted a study of 180 teams and found the following common traits of effective teams:  


●    Dependability. Team members get things done on time and meet expectations.

●    Structure and clarity. High-performing teams have clear goals, and have well-defined roles within the group.

●    Meaning. The work has personal significance to each member.

●    Impact. The group believes their work is purposeful and positively impacts the greater good.

●    Psychological Safety. Everyone feels safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and ask judgment-free questions.

Many Partners in Thought® interactive workshops specifically foster or directly relate to organizational development, including workshops on Crafting a Developmental OrganizationEntrepreneurial LeadershipOvercoming Barriers to Desired ChangeBridging the Political Divide, and facilitating Transformational Meetings.  Related to organizational development, consider the following other related objectives for team members and the organization: thriving through transitions; people skills, management and leadership; productive, efficient, enjoyable meetings and retreats; finding and sustaining happiness; sustainable behavioral change, and continued learning and problem solving and dispute resolution processes to amicably, confidentially, and efficiently resolve disputes; as well as team-driven branding development.