Organization development facilitation

The future depends on what we do in the present – Mahatma Gandhi

A vision and ideals for the future are essential for conscious development, yet are often lacking, or disconnected and ineffective in guiding our actions. Emthunzini facilitates a range of processes that help organizations to develop and improve their formative ideas, values and results. Interventions that are based on an assessment of needs and planned and undertaken together with clients, include

  • Evaluation to diagnose development needs
  • Program and intervention planning
  • Understanding the phases of organization development
  • Organizational culture change and change management
  • Strategic evaluation and planning processes
  • Creating a learning organization
  • Organizational redesign and process improvement
  • Teambuilding
  • Performance management systems and skills, including coaching
  • Service and quality improvement

The phases of organization development

Lievegoed’s phases of organization development model provides an essential framework for understanding how organisations develop through archetypal phases with distinct characteristics and cultures, together with particular strengths, weaknesses and challenges. Each phase culminates in a crisis, which is necessary in order to make the transition to the next phase. The alternative is to remain chronically stuck in a particular phase, and avoid the challenge of development.

Many organizations and the people in them get stuck in their development, and function well below their full, but unrealised, potential. Facilitation is often necessary to recognise this, identify particular challenges and plan how to consciously move forward on an appropriate path of improvement and development.

Partnership development

Partnerships are increasingly common and necessary as a strategy to achieve results in a complex world. In fact, the fourth phase of organisation development is the network or associative organisation, which functions in cooperation with others.

However, inter-organizational collaboration and partnerships present new challenges, and require new capacities and processes in terms of communication, negotiation and coordination. Independent facilitation, together with monitoring and evaluation can provide valuable assistance in recognising and dealing with new and often unexpected challenges in creating successful partnerships.

Strategic planning

Its not what the vision is, its what the vision does

Sound strategy is a key to organizational success, and strategy review, evaluation and planning processes should be undertaken on a regular basis (annual and three year cycles), with external facilitation, and include stakeholder feedback and input.

An integrated approach to strategic planning includes ensuring that the organization’s vision, mission and values are appropriate and inspiring, and identifying and addressing capacity building needs, to endure that a good strategy can be successfully implemented.

An integrated approach to strategy development includes and balances an outer and inner dimension. The external challenge is how best to relate and connect to those the organization serves; the internal challenge is to develop the organization and its capacity to deliver improved service and greater benefits.

Communications strategy

Communication is the essential substance of relationships

In increasingly complex and competitive operating environments, it is essential for all organisations to develop effective communications strategies to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders, beneficiaries and clients. For non-profit organizations this is an essential component of any funding strategy.

For public sector oganizations, a communications strategy includes good public information and participation mechanisms that inform and engage citizens and their representatives. Organizations need to develop communication as a creative two-way process, involving informing, listening and participation in dialogue.

Teambuilding and board development

One individual does not help, but rather those who unite with others at the right time – Goethe

Good individual leader-managers are not enough to ensure organizational effectiveness – they also need to be able to work together and cooperate well in teams. This requires understanding of individual differences and temperaments, good listening and communication skills, and the ability to understand and resolve tensions and conflicts.

The above applies also to governance structures such as boards and councils, and to top management teams, which have the power to ‘make or break’ organizations. In addition, it is essential for such structures to develop

  • clear roles and responsibilities
  • effective working procedures
  • appropriate strategy and policies
  • shared vision and focused leadership
  • the capacity to give direction and guidance.

It is also necessary to develop ways of resolving differences, and to develop commitment to identifying and addressing problems and issues within the group. This is never easy, as personal dispositions, styles and deficiencies are usually involved, which few groups have the maturity to deal with openly. Independent facilitation can help to address such situations in constructive ways that lead to development rather than conflict.

Emthunzini teambuilding focussed on dealing with team issues and developing teamwork skills in the workplace. Participants learn to use key models for understanding and facilitating group and team processes, such as the levels in a group (content, interaction and process), the stages of a group process and the polarities facilitation model.

Action learning

We grow as human beings if we know how to explore where we are, understand where we want to be, and act upon how to get there, and to facilitate the exploration, understanding and action of others. Unable to do so, we are left only as life’s observers and not life’s participants. R Carkuff

Action learning is a powerful method for sustaining individual, team and organizational learning and creating a learning culture and organization. We assist managers and team leaders to master action learning facilitation as a key skill for ensuring ongoing performance improvement. It is also the basis for effective individual and team performance management and coaching.

Action learning empowers staff and teams to take responsibility for ongoing service and quality improvement. Integrating working and learning motivates staff and enriches any job, as they identify challenges and areas for improvement, and take initiatives to address these.

Materials development, publications and websites

Good quality, user-friendly materials are essential to sustain the results of training and other capacity building interventions, and support ongoing learning and sharing of learning. Good publications and websites are also key media for communicating with external stakeholders and clients. We facilitate interactive learning and materials development processes, and write and edit contents for handbooks, publications and websites. Publications developed for clients include

  • Handbook for Councillors in the Northern Cape SA
  • Successful Local Economic Development Projects in the Northern Cape -Municipal Development Program, Northern Cape, SA
  • Learning Journeys – A guide for coordinators and facilitators & A guide for sponsors, participants and hosts – Water Information Network – South Africa (WIN-SA)
  • Legal and Environmental Issues and Roads, Streets and Stormwater handbooks – Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Project Northern Cape, SA
  • Management of O&M Handbook booklets – O&M Project Northern Cape
    • Management of Services and O&M
    • Asset Management
    • Enhancing Individual and Team Performance
    • Enhancing Organizational and Personal Performance
    • Communication Information and Participation
    • Project Management
  • O&M News – Newsletter of the O&M Project (13 editions)
  • Sustainable Communities Planning Guide, for Nelson Mandela Metro, SA
  • Catchment Management Agencies – a Guide for Municipalities – for the Water Information Network, South Africa (WIN-SA)
  • Brochure on the Hull Street Housing Project (for Sida for the WSSD)
  • Brochure for the P3 Transparency Project (working with 25 municipalities in SA, Botswana and Namibia)
  • Guides for the P3 Transparency Project
    • Municipal Finances and Budgeting
    • Service Improvement
    • Feedback and Complaints Mechanisms
    • Municipal Information and Public Participation

The above were developed in the context of SIPU International municipal development programmes, except for the P3 Transparency Project – a SALAR- SKL International programme.