The "Ideal" of Organizations
Ideally, organizations are places where people gather to collaborate on a mission to provide some
good or service that contributes and enriches the lives of those they serve. From this perspective,
organizations are to be a source of community, connection, and purpose for their members and their
The Actuality of Organizations
Yet, the complexity of human relationships that exist in even the smallest of organizations can
make experiencing the ideal of an organization challenging for all members and clients.
Founders and CEO’s.
While founders and CEO’s might have great
vision about the purpose their organization is supposed to serve, they do not always experience
ease in realizing that vision in cooperation with the other members of the organization.
Through leadership, managers serve to create a spirit of
cooperative purpose amongst teams and departments. At the same time, even the most experienced of
managers can struggle to lead teams to collaborate in a way that is both productive and satisfying,
not only for the managers, but for their teams or department.
The heart and the power of organizations comes from
individual members who work to realize the vision and mission of the organization. Yet, individual
members often struggle with a sense of empowerment about their own work or creating change in
Clients and Customers.
The clients and customers are
who organizations live to serve and who make the organization sustainable. Yet, it is easy to get
disconnected from the true needs of the clients and customers. Such a disconnect can leave
customers and clients with a sense of alienation, and looking for other places to get those
The actual conditions at organizations can leave members and clients, alike, with a sense of
disconnection. When this happens there can be conflict, a sense of “disorder,” or
malaise in parts of the organization or in the organization as a whole. Additionally, organizations
can find it difficult to retain customers or members to serve them.
Creating the “Ideal”: Creating Organizations People Want (Read More) >>
Socio-Logic believes that creating
organizations that people want to be part of and seek out, starts with having a vision of
organizations that facilitates this idea. To that end, Socio-
Logic sees organizations as dynamic, “living” organisms,
created and supported by its members to benefit the individuals it serves.
Socio-Logic takes a dual-focused
approach when working with organizations. We treat the whole of the organization as an entity
in its own right. Organizations are “greater than the sum of their parts” and
cannot be understood solely by reducing them to individuals. At the same time, we believe it is
important that organizations never lose sight of its individual members or the
individuals to whom they are dedicated to providing service. Organizations exist for and because of
individuals, and in turn, organizations provide context to and impact individuals.
How We Support You - Organizational Development
To support you in creating organizations that people want, we offer full-service, organizational
development consulting. Organizational development, can be defined in many ways, but the
definition used by Socio-Logic
is that it “is the process of increasing organizational effectiveness and facilitating personal and
organizational change through the use of interventions driven by social science
knowledge.” What distinguishes organizational development work from pure management
consulting or change management consulting is its humanistic orientation and its focus not just
on performance, but human fulfillment.
Socio-Logic combines formal knowledge
of organizations, based on the social sciences, with the practical experience of managing in
organizations, with over 10 years of organizational development consulting.
Organizational Development – Understanding First
You might be a founder or CEO trying to better realize the vision and mission of the organization,
or you might be a manager or individual member struggling to engage with other members of the
organization in a way that you experience as meaningful and productive. Either way, one of the
first challenges is understanding and identifying what it is that you want to change.
Understanding and framing a situation in such a way that it can be changed is the first
crucial step. Formally, this process can be described as gathering information, using
“evaluation research.” Practically, this means to understand your unique situation,
we gather as much information about the situation from as many people involved in the situation
as possible, in a structured way. And we use this information, combined with social science
knowledge, to understand and collaborate on approaches to creating the change you desire to make.
Organizational Development Consulting Services
Every person is unique; every organization is unique; every situation is unique.
Socio-Logic offers no out-of-box,
one-size-fits-all solutions. At the same time, there are a few categories of general
organizational development approaches that are frequently used, once there is an understanding
of a particular situation.
Sometimes, when organizations are not working the way people intend, the first inclination is to
change how the organization is divided into departments, teams, groups, etc. This is so common
that when people think of organizational development, they often think of restructuring
as the “classic” kind of intervention. While Socio-
can help with this type of intervention, it is our
professional opinion that restructuring is relied on more often than we would like, is difficult
to undo, and often has unintended consequences.
Process Change/Innovation and Work Design.
More often than not, it is not how people are structured within an organization, but the process
of how they go about working together that has the most pronounced impact. Sometimes organizations
give a lot of thought to the structure of the organization, but do not spend as much time thinking
about the process they use to serve their clients. At other times, organizations have given it
“too much” thought; that is, they have created “top-down” ways of working
that do not match “the realities on the ground.”
Culture is a popular word in organizations today.
Organizations see the importance of it and strive to create it. Organizations create lists of
values, beliefs, and attitudes to which they aspire and try to foster norms around them. While
culture can be viewed as these static lists of values, beliefs and norms, it is also a process of
dynamic, shared, and relational “meaning-making.” Culture, and all its elements, are
born and “come to life” through the flow
of language, communication, and other
interaction. From this perspective, the vitality of culture depends on individuals “rubbing
up against each other,” metaphorically speaking. For our values to “rub off” on
others, it requires an interaction that has the possibility that some of their values will
“rub off” on us as well. While organizations are often adept at describing the
beliefs and values to which they aspire, they sometimes struggle to enact the dynamics of a
thriving, “living,” culture.
Diversity and Inclusion.
Closely related to the concept of culture are the concepts of diversity and inclusion. Most
organizations realize the importance of including views and people from diverse backgrounds. At
the same time, they sometimes need assistance in doing so in a way that they find productive and
members of the organization find meaningful.
Team Design, Development, and Management.
Teams are smaller in scale than
organizations, but they can be seen as microcosms (or miniature versions) of organizations and
can experience some of the same challenges. Sometimes it can be a challenge to structure teams
in a way that they perform well, but are also satisfying to the members of the team. At other
times, it is more about the process of how they work together or about the quality of the
interpersonal connections between the people on the team.
Executive and Leadership Coaching.
The smallest scale of organizational
development intervention Socio-Logic
provides is executive and leadership coaching. While there is no replacement for large-scale
change in organizations, sometimes even smaller-scale changes can have a dramatic impact.
Because managers and executives are often the hub of smaller networks within the organizations,
they have the potential to create profound change in the areas in which they work.
Conflict Management, Engagement, and Transformation.
It sometimes seems like conflict is a “dirty word,” that people would rather not
discuss. Yet, whether it is directly discussed or not, conflict in some form is at the heart of
every situation an organization is trying to change. Whether people are not working together or
serving clients in the way it is hoped, chances are there is some kind of conflict underlying
the situation. Sometimes that conflict is more “explicit” and can be seen in the way
people interact and relate to one another. At other times, it is more subtle; people avoid
conflict and avoid engaging in activity that might produce a sense of conflict, creating a
“drag” effect on productivity and morale. Socio-Logic
is proud of its expertise in managing and
facilitating productive engagement in conflict, because it is so essential to providing organizational development services.
How can we help?
Socio-Logic trusts that you know your
situation better than anyone. We combine your knowledge of your situation with our social
science expertise and practical experience with organizations, groups, and individual interaction
to develop custom solutions for your unique situation. If you want to find out more about how we
generally work together, you can check here. Otherwise, the next step is a free consultation.
Working Together ◆
H. Scott Clemens ◆
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