by Malcolm Nicholson (United Kingdom)

Summary: Organisation development initiatives often fail, and have not embraced coaching as a methodology. Coaching can contribute significantly to the acceptance and engagement with OD initiatives by a) challenging the thinking of OD initiative leaders and b) enabling managers to increase employee engagement by adopting a more coaching based management style.

In its 2011 fact sheet on Organisational Development, the CIPD in the UK defines organisational development (OD) as ‘planned and systematic approaches to enabling sustained organisation performance through the involvement of its people’. Egan (2002) explored the range of definitions for OD. While not a comprehensive review, he did identify 27 definitions between 1969 and 2003.

As the above may infer, OD is a relatively mature concept, and one which is “situationally” driven. OD to one organisation may be unrecognisable to another. However, from a Coaching practitioner’s point of view, OD has been slow to embrace Coaching as a methodology.

Source: iCN Issue 2 (Business Coaching); pages 59-61