An OD Journey


Agi Kertynska reflects on what can be gained from putting together an OD plan.

I have been in my current (OD) role for nine months. It has been a rewarding time with lots of learning, both on the job and by taking advantage of external development opportunities. I have had a chance to observe and listen to my colleagues, see how they interact and hear what they would like their workplace to be. I am writing this post on my birthday which these days results more in reflection than outbursts of sheer enthusiasm. So what has been achieved and what still needs to happen?

 I ‘OD diagnosed’, ran an engagement exercise and drafted an OD plan. All of that with lots of support from my HR and non-HR colleagues. This is often a place where a consultant leaves an organisation to let it implement all that has been put in a strategy/plan. All the efforts leading to it should not be underestimated. Diagnosing, especially listening to people concerns, frustration and dreams can sometimes feel hard and almost too much but being let in to other people’s working life is also a great privilege and a brilliant opportunity to develop trust. The engagement exercise was a brilliant chance to see how creative and pragmatic my colleagues are and how committed they are to improving services. Putting everything together in a plan which at some point seemed like an impossible thing to do was a great chance to learn from others in the organisation and beyond.
 
So what’s now? Luckily, as opposed to external consultants, I have an incredible opportunity to influence and implement alongside my colleagues. This is an interesting yet tough part of the process. Now the true working together begins. I’m still thinking how best to do it but some foundations have been laid. There are obvious formal sign-off meetings and forums to present. However, what I valued most recently is getting together with my HR BP colleagues for informal catch ups – no governance or holding each other to account, just exchanging information and seeing where our work fits into each other’s priorities.
 
It’s also a chance to go outside our box to see the world of your colleagues in an empathic humane way, rather than as a vehicle for delivering on one’s objectives. This is where true connection and collaboration starts. So far it has been successful enough to inspire other informal forums in our department to emerge. The ripple effect is happening and it is filling me with hope.
 
I would be interested to hear how various HR colleagues work together in your organisation? What works for you?
 
Agi Kertynska, Organisational Development Practitioner, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust 
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