If you are part of the HR department or, actually, a leader across any function at an organization, you should learn Organization Development (OD). In fact, if you work at an organization, regardless of your position or department, you should become proficient in OD methods and principles, as they guide a holistic and genuinely inclusive approach to challenges in the business.
That is one of the top three reasons why Martha Fowler, Principal at MAJA Consulting, obtained her OD certifications through IOD. Martha, who has known IOD’s founder and CEO, Dr. Nancy Zentis, for over twenty years, also believes that IOD’s pioneering work in the OD space and the weight that her IOD certifications have has set her apart from other consultants. However, the most valuable benefit from her experience with IOD is the community of like-minded people that Dr. Zentis has created.
Martha was part of the first ODCC (Organization Development Consultant Certification) training. What Martha gained from the training and what she learned from being mentored by Nancy was so powerful that she joined IOD as an instructor and helped coordinate conferences to further the company’s mission. The OD methodology she learned through IOD and the leadership responsibility she felt to share that knowledge opened her door to becoming a consultant in OD and change management.
“I consider the ODCP and ODCC programs, and Nancy, to be pioneers in the world of OD. IOD’s programs have created consultants and professionals equipped to close the gap in their organizations.” In addition, the hands-on application that allows for much deeper and more relevant learning is uniquely valuable.
Back 10 or 15 years ago, only a handful of people worked in OD. According to Martha, the trends now show that companies need professionals capable of embracing the concepts and principles of organizational design and organizational development to facilitate sustainable change. IOD’s certifications have created a community of knowledgeable OD professionals, with over seven thousand certifications awarded across the globe. Martha shares, “my IOD certifications are significant. They are at the top of my resume and show that I am fully qualified to help organizations create sustainable change.”
Another unique value of IOD’s programs is that participants work on real-time problems and examples together. By having peers across functions and industries live at the training, participants can learn from each other. As Martha explains, “as a participant, you are there in real-time interacting with other professionals sharing their everyday issues & challenges they are facing in their organization, and that’s an enormous value add to the program.” She compares that with other regular programs or school programs that teach around past documented cases. In IOD’s programs, participants discuss their specific projects, initiatives, interventions, or challenges right at the moment when the group explores a definition or a methodology, such as the action research model. Then, when participants share their struggles within the group’s confidence, the entire team can collaborate and bring solutions to help each other out.
IOD’s frameworks are built to help all professionals understand and facilitate change through the group members at all levels, from social communities to corporations, non-profit or private organizations, across geographical locations, and cultures. The OD methodology includes everybody and OD professionals facilitate change that has impact across an organization. The skills OD professionals strive for are to become excellent listeners, understand where the group is coming from, how to best guide change in a structured way, and help find the solutions within the group because they have the answers. According to Martha, “IOD’s programs help you hone those skills and shift from thinking that you have all the answers or that you will be right, to being the facilitator of change. Learning this opened the doors for my career.”
Another important aspect of IOD’s work is the global network of professionals they have created that exchange ideas, knowledge, and experiences. The true value for Martha and the thousands of professionals who have received training through IOD goes beyond the essential certification. It is the impact that IOD has had on the OD field itself – bringing together professionals from every continent, sharing in community, whether in person at conferences or online through virtual events.
Professionals willing to advance their career come to IOD at different levels of experience, with a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances, looking for solutions for everyday problems and concerns. They believe that by coming together as a global community looking to make a difference using OD, they will create meaningful and lasting change in the world.
For Martha, the impact of her IOD education is palpable. When she became a Certified Organization Development Consultant through the ODCP and ODCC programs, she combined her background in HR and additional specializations to impact companies in the midst of digital transformation. She hopes to encourage more professionals to fill the pressing market gap of people who understand organizational design and development and the effects that technology change has on the business, particularly its employees. Thanks to her IOD preparation and the global network to which she belongs, she has been able to impact organizations holistically and inclusively, setting herself apart as a fully qualified consultant.