Organization Development – 3.1 The quality and use of action plans

My website contains further resources that may be of interest …

http://www.theknowledge.biz/

3.     Action Planning – The End of the Beginning

Introduction

The content of this section is largely based on the experience of the author and the reflections of fellow OD practitioners.  They are included to encourage further reflection – an essential part of Continuing Professional Development for the OD practitioner.

3.1    The quality and use of action plans

It is essential that the action plans that are developed during an OD intervention contain SMARTER objectives at all levels (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Timely, Evaluated and Revised when necessary).

It may take the novice practitioner by surprise to find that the action planning stage of an OD intervention is often accompanied by anxiety and negative reactions.  Potential contributors here include:

  • The client’s realization of the amount of time required to bring about change;
  • The tendency to attempt to address all of the issues that have arisen during the data gathering, analysis and problem-solving stages;
  • The emotional ‘rebound’ that follows the enthusiasm associated with ‘seeing the light’ and having worked through difficult issues.

During this phase, the practitioner must ensure s/he is not part of the problem!  It is essential to ask:

  • Am I getting caught up in the ‘spirit of the moment’?
  • Do I believe the group can deal effectively with all the surfaced issues during the timeframe set?

Beyond this, there are actions the practitioner can take to reduce anxiety and negative reactions.  These include:

  • Allowing a cooling-off period between analysis and solution to ensure a degree of realism that might otherwise be over-ridden;
  • Reminding the group that there will be the usual competition for their time when they return back to their normal working environment;
  • Offering own experience and opinions if it is felt that plans are of questionable quality and feasibility.

My website contains further resources that may be of interest …

http://www.theknowledge.biz/

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