Picture this: you’re finally the proud owner, proprietor, or creator of a product or service that’s actually selling well. In the first few years, the business has grown to become stable. You’re fulfilled and pleased. Question: Do you want to do the same thing for the next 10 or so years? Or do you want to do and offer something else?
If you choose to do the latter, then “you need a strategy,” says Philip Ruiz III, proprietor and managing consultant of Ruiz OD Solutions, an organizational development consultancy company. “An operations plan is one thing,” he says. “But having a strategy that will differentiate you and make it part of the way you work is very important.” Enter organizational development or OD.
[related|post]While sometimes associated with HR (human resources), OD, according to Ruiz, is different. “The traditional view is that when it comes to administering benefits, training, and recruitment, that’s HR. The disciplines of HR are actually tools of OD.” He asks, “Why do you train people? Training is an HR job. Do you train them to make them happy or to become prepared for the future of your business? Do you recruit people to fill in a vacancy or do you recruit people based on a philosophy that they will help you grow your business? That’s an OD view of it.”
More than the term suggests, OD is more than simply organizing a company. According to Ruiz, it’s about building a strategy that, when practiced, creates a stronger company brand. Using different techniques and tools, “it’s a designed and aligned evolution or organizations intended to create winning organizations.”
Ruiz, who has worked with companies like Globe Telecom, Coco-Cola Bottlers Philippines, and Procter & Gamble, says OD isn’t just for multi-national companies as small and medium enterprises can also benefit from certain techniques.
What you can do
And while SMEs can’t afford a complete OD overhaul, there are some things, according to Ruiz, that they can do themselves. And they’re actually simpler than you think.
“The basic question I ask all my clients is, ‘How far do you want to bring your business?’ To begin with,” says Ruiz, “there are some basic techniques that you don’t even need an OD consultant like me for. But if you don’t have it, you’re not running your business well,” he says.
For starters, Ruiz says a business must have three basic things:
• Business plan;
• Hiring and compensation plan; and
• Measured rewards for good performance.