In 2015 100s of HR professionals were asked a simple question in a survey… in one word describe…ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Participants were invited from the CIPD Members LinkedIn group, the CIPD communities, and the CIPD Facebook group. 613 participated. Of those, over 70% have been in HR for more than 11 years.
Not all questions were mandatory
The demographics for this were:
Processing of one word data.
During data analysis, spellings were corrected, and capitalisation resolved. No words were merged.
Responses to the one word survey
- Organisational Development
- Change 8%
- Growth 7%
- Progress 6%
- Structure 5%
- Improvement 4%
- Strategy 3%
- Future 2%
- Effectiveness 2%
- Planning 2%
- Alignment 2%
Unlike some of the other topics where there were a few words that stood out from the pack, there is a lot of diversity around Organisational development. This could mean that people do not understand the concept of OD or it could simply be that OD is less of a function or direct activity than some of the other words, but is an activity that is carried out from time to time, thus the meaning varies. Certainly very few organisations have dedicated OD teams.
There is no clear meaning or activity or focus around the term Organisational Development. All of the terms used in the top 10 are to do with processes or structure. This is interesting, as the origins of OD are from the world of behavioural psychology. So there has been a shift in application.
Other words used included:
Agility, alignment, authenticity, behaviour, best, building, change, chaos, clarity, cohesion, communication, competitive, continuous, critical, culture, design, development, direction, drive, dynamic, effective, effectiveness, efficiency, empowerment, enabling, engagement, enhancement, essential, evolution, evolving, fit, focus, focused, forward, future, growing, growth, holistic, improvement, improving, innovation, jargon, journey, learning, misunderstood, necessary, optimisation, passion, performance, planning, potential, process, progress, progression, progressive, proofing, purpose, restructure, results, shaping, strategic, strategy, streamlining, strength, structure, success, sustainability, systematic, systemic, systems, team, training, transformation, upskilling, vision