The future is OD

By Ruth Stuart, Lead Consultant, Strategic Projects at CIPD

We’ve all heard a lot recently about how the world of work is constantly evolving – how we live in a VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) – but what does that actually mean to those enabling organisational transformation? And what does it mean for the skills and capabilities you need to build?

At the CIPD we’ve been exploring these issues as part of our Profession for the Future strategy, looking at what it will take for the HR profession of the future to meet its full potential to champion better work and working lives – for the benefit of individuals, business, economies and society. On the one hand we can see that increasingly it means developing robust awareness of the key trends affecting your organisation, whether that be technological advancement, demographic change or economic uncertainty. And on the other it means building up expert knowledge, alongside the professional judgement to apply such knowledge in a way that creates value for all stakeholders and supports the continual evolution of work.

To do this, it’s clear that organisation development (OD) capability will have a significant role to play, and is likely to grow in importance. And if change really is the new constant, then helping an organisation navigate that environment and put in place the strategies which enable sustainable business performance is an exciting prospect. But we leading transformational change can be tough. Navigating organisational realities while maintaining energy and momentum is challenging, and can sometimes feel like a lonely place to be.

At the CIPD we know that connecting with peers and sharing stories advice can be hugely beneficial, not only for your own personal resilience, but also by sparking new ideas and insights. I’ll be chairing our Organisation Development conference in September, and this year we’ve completed revamped the agenda to focus on emerging OD thinking, which involves you in the latest thinking alongside practical advice, and crucially plenty of time for networking and reflection. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers – from Zurich UK Life exploring how you can practically translate culture into tangible behavioural change, to Professor Cliff Oswick sharing cutting edge insight on dialogic change.

At the conference we’ll also be launching our latest research, sharing practical case studies of organisations who have successfully landed transformational change. I’ll be reflecting on this research and our Profession for the Future strategy during the conference and I’m looking forward to what I hope will be an inspiring, thought provoking day.

Ruth Stuart will be chairing the Organisation Development Conference 29-30 September, London

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  • Anonymous

    I don't see any distinctive messages that speak to the realities of VUCA. Could I recommend Keith Grint at Warwick Business School ?