What is OD?

If you’ve been wondering what organisation development is, you’re not alone. In essence, OD is about enhancing organisational effectiveness through people. But, in practice, this can be very wide-ranging. And because it’s tailored to an organisation’s specific needs and culture, organisation development work can look and feel very different from place to place.

In essence, OD is about enhancing organisational effectiveness through people

To learn more about organisation development: read on; take a look at our article ‘What does OD do?’ published in the CIPD’s People Management; or see our series of in-depth reports, listed at the foot of this page, which offer a contemporary view of organisation development in the UK.

To discuss how OD may help you, simply contact us.



  • OD is strategic, analytic and personal
  • OD involves working with individuals, groups and data
  • OD is informed by behavioural science knowledge
  • New OD is also informed by complexity science knowledge which helps us understand how organisations really work

At its heart, organisation development is about working with change to enhance effectiveness by working in partnership across a whole system.

What is OD?













Source: Garrow, Varney, Lloyd (2009), Fish or Bird? Perspectives on Organisational Development, Institute for Employment Studies


Our in-depth research reports on organisation development for the Institute for Employment Studies take a contemporary look at OD in the UK:

Fish or Bird? Perspectives on Organisational Development (OD)

Learning to swim, learning to fly?  A career in Organisational Development

The Palace. Perspectives on Organisation Design


Build your OD capability – with space for learning as Your OD Partner