Organisation development and design (OD&D) is about taking a systems and behavioural science-based approach to improving an organisation's performance.

OD&D considers both the ‘hard’ elements of an organisation (design) – structures, frameworks, systems, policies and metrics – and the 'soft' elements of an organisation (development) – its culture, capability, values, behaviours, and relationships. It requires a deep understanding of all these elements as part of a wider integrated ecosystem.

OD&D helps organisations to understand the ‘current state’ and work towards an imagined or desired 'future state', identifying issues and opportunities, and effectively supporting and facilitating people, teams and organisations through change.


'In order to operate effectively and provide good work and a good employee/customer experience, organisations need to be consciously and reflectively designed and developed. As the business context becomes more interconnected, more complex and more technology enabled, the skills of organisation design and development are increasingly demanded.'

Dr Naomi Stanford - organisation design practitioner, teacher, and author


Things to start thinking about

Use these prompts to reflect on your understanding of Organisation development and design and uncover areas for future professional development.

  1. How well does your OD&D team deliver and enable different types of change across the organisation?

  2. What OD&D methods, approaches, tools and skills do you need to deliver in your current role?

  3. How do you measure and assess your OD&D interventions?

  4. When did you last review the hard and soft elements of your organisation against strategic objectives?

CIPD Advanced Award in Organisation Design and Development

A qualification designed to address organisation development and design capability among HR professionals and L&D specialists by providing theoretical understanding of OD and design issues, together with practical knowledge and skills.

Learn more from CIPD Training

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