Wright, N. (2006) ‘Heart of OD – An Interview with Nick Wright’, Personnel Zone, 12 January.
PZ - What would you describe as the link between organisation development (OD) and human resources (HR)?
NW - OD can provide a valuable conceptual framework for HR, rooting HR strategy and practice in a wider capacity-building framework for the organisation as a whole.
PZ - What would you say is the most important question for OD practitioners?
NW - ‘What are the key factors that enhance or inhibit the organisation’s ability to achieve its mission potential?’
PZ - What are the most significant factors that influence an organisation’s development?
NW - Generally-speaking, a dynamic combination of culture, complexity, capability and climate.
PZ - What determines the success of an OD intervention strategy?
NW - Shared diagnosis, vision, values and commitment. Quality of diagnosis, openness to learn on route and acting consistently with values are critical success factors.
PZ - What connections to you draw between individual and organisational learning?
NW - An organisation can be described as ‘learning’ when (a) its members learn, (b) learning is shared and (c) learning is applied to enhance strategy, policy and practice.
PZ - What would you say are the most important factors for organisational change agents to bear in mind?
NW - Consider every action as an intervention. Every intervention carries symbolic as well as rational meaning. The symbolic element is often the most significant determinant of success.
PZ - What do you believe about strategic planning?
NW - Strategic planning is an important means of setting and maintaining appropriate direction. The best strategies are developed collaboratively with genuine space for emergent learning.
PZ - What is the relationship between leadership and organisation development?
NW - Leadership is a key reflector and driver of organisational culture. The form of leadership supported will have a significant impact on the organisation’s development potential.
PZ - What do you see as the key components of good leadership?
NW - Vision, values, passion and ‘being with’.
PZ - What place does spirituality have in your vision of OD?
NW - Organisations don’t exist but people do. Spirituality is at the heart of our humanity and it follows, therefore, that holistic organisation development must take this dimension seriously in order to be congruent and effective.