Change is calling. And how an organization answers the call can make all the difference. Organizations that thrive on every level navigate change with a steady hand – rather than react to it. And sometimes, partnering with an outside expert, such as an Organizational Development (OD) consultant, can help clarify strategic focus and cut through established norms to improve efficiency.
Organizational development is an effort by companies to examine their policies, resources, and financial goals from the top down to affect positive change throughout the organization using behavioral-science knowledge.
Julie Jacobs, founder and principal consultant at Ironside & Associates, a consulting firm offering strategic organizational development for C-suite executives and founders, believes the consultative approach of getting to know and working directly with a leadership team can not only help facilitate change, it can long-term pays dividends. Jacobs focuses her work with small and mid-sized privately held companies, where she joins her clients’ executive team meetings as an active member.
“An OD and change management expert has an ability to lean in when working within an executive leadership team,” Jacobs explains, “to see what individual executives might not be paying attention to because they’re focused on their team or their own department. The critical part for executives, when you’re on a leadership team, is to remember that that is your team. The individuals around the table have to be rowing the boat together. Your true team is those peers, not the people that directly report to you. My role as a consultant is to help individuals recognize and embrace that.”
As an active member of an executive team, an OD consultant like Jacobs brings an informed outsider’s view that is especially valuable in facilitating two fundamental types of business change:
- Amplifying focus on potentially overlooked opportunities
- Facilitating new thinking during times of reorganization or evolution
This white paper explores the benefits and potential outcomes of partnering with an outside OD consultant including objectivity, strategic clarity (and alignment), and team efficiency. It also includes an interview checklist to help you evaluate potential partners as well as some watch outs when retaining an OD partner.
“From facilitating executive team meetings to leading organization-wide change, we partner with clients to achieve results that drive growth, succession planning, or sustainability, depending on what matters most or what is right for their organization.”- Julie Jacobs