7. Interventions

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MODULE 7 (6 Hours) OD interventions: Definition, factors to be considered, choosing and sequencing intervention activities, classification of OD interventions, results of OD, typology of interventions based on target groups.

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“ The planned activities client & consultants participate during the course of an organization development program” Attempt to improve the “ fit ” between the individual & organization between the organization & its environment. Emphasis more on collaboration, confrontation & participation Meaning of Interventions

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Interventions (French & Bell, 1999) “Sets of structured activities in which selected organizational units (target groups or individuals) engage in a task or a sequence of tasks with the goals of organizational improvement and individual development”.

Interventions : 

Interventions OD interventions are structured actions that help bring about the desired positive changes. Intervention planning includes selecting type of intervention and deciding its duration and extent.

Factors to consider when planning and implementing an OD intervention: : 

Factors to consider when planning and implementing an OD intervention: 1. There has to be an INTERVENTION STRATEGY 2. Activities to promote learning and change must be STRUCTURED EFFECTIVELY. Techniques to achieve this include:

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make sure all the relevant people are included; allow the client group to identify problems and opportunities themselves. Let them be the ones to solve their own problems and capitalize on their own opportunities; ensure that goals are absolutely clear to all, as are the strategies for goal-attainment; make sure that activities are structured in such a way that there is a high probability of success. Goals must be manageable and attainable - success is highly motivating to the client group; include both experience-based learning and conceptual learning. This is not meant to be an academic exercise.

Cont.. : 

make sure that the climate is appropriate for openness. If the client group is defensive or anxious, the exercise is futile. ensure that the client system not only learns how to solve one particular problem, but it learns how to learn, ie. acquires skills and knowledge which can be utilized with future problems and changes. teach them about both task (what) and process (how). engage the whole person in the intervention, not just the intellect. Get them to talk about thoughts, feelings, ideas, concerns, beliefs etc. Cont..

Choose and sequence intervention activities carefully. : 

Choose and sequence intervention activities carefully. Some rules of thumb: -maximize diagnostic data. Not knowing the full facts of the situation can lead to inappropriate interventions -maximize effectiveness. Early interventions should enhance the effectiveness of subsequent interventions. Those that build motivation, readiness, knowledge and skills required for future change should come first.

Cont.. : 

maximize efficiency. Sequence interventions to conserve time, energy and money. maximize speed. Delays in achieving organizational improvement could lead to loss of momentum and motivation maximize relevance. Interventions that relate to immediate problems should be tackled first. minimize psychological and organizational strain. Sequence interventions that are least likely to cause anxiety, insecurity, distrust, disillusionment and poor performance. Cont..

Different interventions have different dynamics. Each intervention should be selected in relation to causal factors and the nature of underlying problems. : 

Different interventions have different dynamics. Each intervention should be selected in relation to causal factors and the nature of underlying problems. Some OD interventions and their underlying causal mechanisms: -Discrepancy Intervention - calls attention to a contradiction in action or attitudes that then leads to exploration -Theory Intervention - behavioral science knowledge and theory are used to explain present behavior and assumptions underlying behavior

Cont. : 

Cont. Relationship Intervention - focuses on interpersonal relationships, esp. where there are strong negative feelings; brings issues to the surface for exploration and resolution Organization structure Intervention - examines and evaluates structural reasons for organizational ineffectiveness Cultural Intervention - examines traditions, and practices which form the fabric of the org’s culture, in a direct, focused approach

Possible results of OD interventions: : 

Possible results of OD interventions: -awareness of changing socio-cultural norms or dysfunctional current norms -increased interaction and communication -confrontation (surfacing and examining differences) -education (knowledge and concepts, beliefs and attitudes, skills) -participation (in problem solving, goal setting, idea generation) -increased accountability (through clarifying responsibility and monitoring performance) -increased energy and optimism (“the future is desirable, worthwhile and attainable”)

Classifying OD Interventions : 

Classifying OD Interventions

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There are many, many different types of OD interventions. These can be classified, or grouped according to: i) the objectives of the interventions ii) the targets of the interventions

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There are 14 major “families” of OD interventions. 1. Diagnostic Activities 2. Team Building Activities 3. Inter-group Activities 4. Survey Feedback Activities 5. Education and Training Activities 6. Techno-structural or Structural Activities 7. Process Consultation Activities 8. Grid Organization Development Activities 9. Third -Party Peacemaking Activities 10. Coaching and Counseling Activities 11. Life and Career Planning Activities 12. Planning and Goal Setting Activities 13. Strategic Management Activities 14. Organizational Transformation Activities

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Human process interventions (individual, group and inter-group human relations): Individual based: coaching, counseling, training, Behavioral modeling, delegating, leading, morale boosting, mentoring, motivation, etc., Group based: conflict management, dialoging, group facilitation group learning, self-directed work teams, large scale interventions, team building, and virtual teams. Inter-group based: Organization mirroring, third party peace making interventions, partnering

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Techno structural (Structures, technologies, positions etc.,) & Strategic interventions: Techno structural: Balanced scorecard; business process reengineering; downsizing and outsourcing;


OD INTERVENTIONS TRADITIONAL Individual: Third party Laboratory training Career/life Group: Process consultation Team building Organizational: Survey/feedback Environmental scanning NEWER Self-directed work teams Virtual team building Organization transformation Learning organizations Search conferences Performance management Appreciative inquiry


BRITISH AIRWAYS (Goodstein & Burke, 1991) STRATEGIC INTERVENTION - Redefinition of the business from transportation to service TECHNO-STRUCTURAL INTERVENTIONS - Appointed new CEO and top management team Downsizing the workforce from 59,000 to 37,000 Use of diagonal task forces to plan change New Management Information System (MIS)


BRITISH AIRWAYS INTERPERSONAL INTERVENTIONS - Training and education “Managing People First” programs Emphasis on open communication Off-site team building meetings Peer support groups through change process HR MANAGEMENT INTERVENTIONS - New performance based compensation system

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Thank You

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