What is organizational development consulting?

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Organizational development consulting consists of three critical areas.  It usually includes the behavioral strategy, the structural strategy and technological strategy.

Take a look at the three strategies below:

Behavioral Strategy: Includes executive coaching, performance management, conflict resolution, motivation, morale, engagement, values, mission and purpose.   This includes the psychology of the organization.

Structural Strategy: This includes the visible aspects of the organization.  Things like the organizational chart, job descriptions, role scope and reporting structure.

Technological Strategy:  This strategy includes the technology needs of the business.  It could include the CRM, the client service model and the sales process.  Many companies will employ a business management system to help with things like recruiting, employee relations and compensation.  The technology should be leveraged to serve your mission not you serving the technology.

A great metaphor for the organization is the “Iceberg Theory” or “Iceberg Model.”  This model was documented in a book called “A Comprehensive View of Organizational Development” by Stanley Sokolik.  Think of your business as a iceberg in the ocean.  What you see or what clients see or what constituents see is the top of the iceberg.


When Sokolik developed this model he described the top of the iceberg as the Overt Components or the visible components. The content below the ocean surface is called the Covert Components.

Whenever, I consult for a business I want to understand both the Covert Components and the Overt Components.  Overt Components are things like job descriptions, organizational charts and policies and procedures.  The covert items include the psychological realities within the business.  This could be a companies set of values, the leader’s impact and behavior, the perceptions of trust and mistrust.

To tie these concepts together, it is important for your business to hire a consultant that understands your need and is able to help you uncover what you aren’t aware of currently.  The Covert and Overt realities are critical to consider. Deploying the strategies of behavior, structure and technology will ensure you experience a positive outcome.