Factors that Impact Organizational Development

Organization development is about the activities engaged in by stakeholders in order to build and maintain the health of an organization as a total system. When a business is under going changes the following occur:

  • Additional stress is placed on the organization and culture;
  • An increased focus on social, human and group dynamics where what was considered normal is no longer;
  • An atmosphere of collaboration and facilitation is often missing;
  • Stakeholders are no longer engaged in solving the issues throughout the process;
  • The focus is frequently not on a “win-win” outcome.

Resistance to change may be negative, disruptive or constructive. To ensure you are doing the best you can to rise above the potential negative implications of change try the following:

  • Becoming aware of personal biases.
  • Improved communication – that works up down, backwards, and forwards.
  • Staying the course in a change process and seeing it through – it is called “grit”.
  • Suggest options that serve the process.
  • Work collaboratively and cooperatively as a team. Team is what it took and still takes to have it all come together.  Without teams the accomplishment factor dwindles considerably.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition – info@effectiveplacement.com

Conflict Management vs. Conflict Resolution

At one time I believed that conflict in the workplace could be resolved. Experience has been a great teacher in having me realize that resolution of conflict is not possible. Rather conflict management is the preferred framework to utilize in the workplace and arguably in your personal life a s well.

Conflict management allows for the parties involved to bridge areas where values, belief’s, and perception vary. When in a conflicted situation at work whether that be project or procedurally based it is highly unlikely that one or more parties are willing or able to accept and agree to another point of view that is contrary to a deeply held belief or value.

Establishing solid processes that involve the attributes of assessing needs, establishing common goals and interests, and engaging in developing a common vision go along way to ensuring that the differences are managed. Further to that a solid foundation from which to work from and overcome additional challenges is established.

What steps have you utilized in managing conflict that have resulted in highly functional agreements?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition – info@effectiveplacement.com



Challenges to Change

  1. Lack of Competence. A new system implies new skills – fear of not being able to make the transition causes people to push against the process.
  2. Poor Timing. Planning an initiative and implementing the process during a period of relative calm is a necessity. Resistance may occur when alterations are introduced at an awkward time.
  3. The Lack of Reward or Incentive. A plan to address the upside for employees and the gains that will be made is necessary. Failure to do so is a breeding ground for a lack of motivation.
  4. Office Politics. Every organisation has its own share of in-house politics. Employees may resist as a political strategy to “show or prove” that the modification decision is wrong.
  5. Job Loss. Any process, technological advancement, systems, or product alteration will include streamlining, working smarter, cost reduction, efficiency, or faster turnaround times.
  6. Poor Communication Strategy. An inability to communicate the what, why, how, when, and who of success in terms of the methods for measuring it is a set up for resistance.

What strategies is your business undertaking to address the normalcy of resistance?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition – info@effectiveplacement.com

Change Management – 30 % Success Rate

The literature on change management success typically states a 30 % success rate. Two main factors play the biggest role in the failure are transparency and the creation of a safe haven for the communication of the good, the bad, and the ugly from employees to those managing and implementing the change.

The tried and true strategies for implementing change – having a change team in place, engaging employees at all levels of the organization, forming a communications strategy, and creating a compelling vision for change are typically in place.

The questions that need to be asked are:

  • Is the communications strategy transparent? For example, are potential lay-off’s and work flow changes addressed?
  • Has the change management process factored in that as people we react from an emotional base first? Is the method of communication designed to appeal solely to the intellect?
  • Has the design and implementation of the initiative provided an opportunity for a safe and repercussion free environment for the employees to share the good, the bad, and the ugly from an emotional perspective?

Transparent communications, and a safe place for employees to express what they are feeling may prove to be a game changer in the change management industry.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition Specialist, info@effectiveplacement.com.



Steps to Take When Managing Difficulties

Strategies for coping with difficult situations, circumstances or people involve the following:

  1. Identify and use your support network. Be it a friend, a trusted co-worker, a neighbour, or an EAP counsellor – reach out, connect and share your feelings (if possible) or simply what is occurring to you and around you in the aftermath. Focus on expressing what you need from the other person.  Examples may be a safe place to share grief, the need for someone to simply listen, or a scheduled break from your usual routine.


  1. Get some sleep. Self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. A good night’s sleep gives you the perspective you need to deal with the situation you are in.


  1. Set boundaries. When you are vulnerable it is important to have boundaries in place. Take time for yourself to rest and recoup. Avoid as much as possible other scenarios or people that will add to your stress factor. When you have looked after yourself you are in a better position to offer support or request the support you need.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition – info@effectiveplacement.com