In process consultations a consultant works with organization members it help them understand the dynamics of their working relationships in group or team situations. The consultant helps the group members to change the ways they work together and to develop the diagnostic and problem solving skills they need for more effective problem solving. OD – Organizational Development
Team building, a related approach, analyzes the activities resources allocations and relationships of a group or team to improve its effectiveness. This technique can be used, for example to develop a sense of unity among members of a new committee. Team building can be directed at two different types of teams or working groups: an existing or permanent team made up of a manager and his or her employees often called a family group, or a new group either has been formed to solve a specific problem or has been created through a merger has been formed to solve a specific problem or has been created through a merger or other structural change in the organization, which we will call a special group.
For both kinds of groups, team buildings activities aim at diagnosing barriers to effective team performance, improving task accomplishment, improving task accomplishment, improving relationships between team members and improving processes operative in the team, such as communications and task assignment.
CIGNA Corp. discovered that adopting project teams in place of its rigid management hierarchy improved communication and enhanced productivity Improving our working relationship involved drastic changes and the acknowledgement on both sides that something needed to be done claims president property / casualty claims systems and vice president product management and technical services. Once the need for change was acknowledged the teams were out into place. The company was divided into nine teams organized along business lines. The teams diverse composition now enables employees to share information about their areas of expertise the results are quantifiable. Reports of systems problems have dropped 63 percent, and systems fixes are now 100 percent accurate.
Diagnostic meetings may involve the total group or several subgroups and require only a brief time – a day or less – to identify strengths and problem areas. Actual team building requires a subsequent longer meeting ideally held away from the workplace. The consultant interviews participants before hand and organizes the meetings around common themes. The group proceeds to examine the issues, rank them in order of importance, study their underlying dynamics and decide on a course of action bring about those changes perceived as necessary. A follow up meeting at a later time may then evaluate to success of the action steps.
OD for Inter-group Relations: To permit an organization’s managers to assess the health of the organization and set up plans of action for improving it, the confrontation meeting may be used. This is a one day meeting of all of an organization’s managers in which they discuss problems, analyze the underlying causes, and plan remedial actions. The confrontations meeting is typically used after a major organizational change such as a merger or the introduction of a new technology.
OD for the total Organizations: These surveys feedback technique can be used to improve the operations of the total organization. It involves conducting attitude ad other surveys and systematically reporting the results to organization members. Members then determine what actions need to be taken to solve the problems and exploit the opportunities uncovered in the surveys.
Boston Consulting Group has helped many organizations deal with change programs. They recommend forming a Transition Management Team with the responsibility to lead the eight tasks listed.