What a year it’s been…

April 1, 2019

Happy First Anniversary to the Institute for Organisational Development! What a year it’s been – Institute status awarded, Advisory Group formed, a range of events, including conferences with excellent speakers and participatory sessions, OD Awards with outstanding submissions and a celebratory dinner, and Individual Membership ‘soft’ launched – to name but a few of the highlights achieved by the Institute team.

And what a time for the new Institute to be making its mark! I doubt if in recent memory anyone can remember a more turbulent time for Britain than the last 3 years have proved to be – not only for politics, the economy, business and the world of employment but for society as a whole. Some of the deep divisions and polarised views surfaced in the Brexit debates reveal just how challenging will be the task of healing, restoring and reinvigorating organisations and communities for the new way forward, whatever that proves to be.

Against this backdrop, the values and practices of OD are going to be more needed than perhaps ever before. In today’s new era of great uncertainty, “fake news”, distorted and self-interested arguments and perceptions of “winners” and “losers”, notions of collaboration, teamwork, trust, transparency, diversity, human-centred change, learning, innovation, agility, growth and renewal may seem quaint. Yet these core tenets of OD are as valid and relevant as they ever were, if not more so. They hold the key to the healing, revitalisation and breakthroughs that many organisations will need.

That’s why we OD practitioners must be in the vanguard of helping people and organisations to not only cope with change but to actually thrive in dynamic and unpredictable contexts. This means anticipating and taking a lead in addressing key problems and opening up opportunities, developing mindsets and skill-sets, stimulating new routines and working to create win-win contexts which produce the right outcomes and bring out the best in people. Scary and skilful stuff! However, by being client-centric, guided by OD values, working to a vision of what can be achieved and acting as role models of confidence, influence and resilience, we can help other people do the same, and develop the change-ability so key to achieving positive outcomes in fast-changing times.

That’s why the creation of the new Institute is particularly timely. Its aim is to not only set a standard of excellence but also to be a “home” for OD practitioners – specialists and managers – who want to make a difference and build constructive workplace environments. As a voice channel for Members the Institute is the ideal hub for sharing interesting practice, contributing to debates and bouncing around ideas with peers about seemingly intractable issues and possible breakthroughs. The networks are already forming so please contact membership@instituteforod.org.uk to find out more. And looking ahead, the Institute’s Advisory Group will be working with Members and (in the spirit of abundance) with other collaborators to develop practice-oriented standards which will become a vital guide for continuing professional development in OD and will be mirrored in the Institute’s qualifications.

So a busy year ahead beckons – watch this space. And better still, join us as we raise the flag for the value of OD and work to equip OD practitioners for the task ahead. There has never been a more important time to put the skills and values of OD to good effect!


Dr. Linda Holbeche, President of the Institute for Organisational Development



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