Don’t be afraid of setting your goals too high and reaching them. Be afraid of setting them too low and reaching them.
Helen Keller

The “Open Systems” Framework
Action Research
Team Design, Development & Implementation
Conflict Management


People are the key to accomplishing your organization’s goals. Organization development focuses on the interface between the external environment, people, organizational culture, business priorities, and the way your organization accomplishes its goals. Organizations are open to their environment and must achieve an appropriate relation with that environment if they are to survive. The traditional models of assessment and action methodologies are often reactive and incapable of harnessing creative energies.  OCG uses an alternative model,  “Appreciative Inquiry”, developed by David Cooperider, which begins with what our clients do well rather than what they need to repair.  We seek to identify the very best of “what is” and use this approach as a framework for conducting organizational development activities.

How we help you:

We assist you in creating the conditions necessary to involve people in planning and decision-making.
We determine the organizational climate necessary to foster employee and customer satisfaction.
We increase the level of trust and understanding and improve the quality of communication between individuals, groups, teams, and departments.
We help you strengthen and increase recognition of individual and group contributions to the success of the organization.
We assess and analyze organizational and departmental strengths and opportunities for change.
We recommend areas identified as needing training.
We facilitate feedback sessions, offsites, and meetings.

The “Open Systems” Framework

The theoretical approach of OCG with regard to organizational development is based on open systems theory, meaning that every organization represents a system of interacting parts driven by the external environment. The idea of openness emphasizes the relationships between the external environment and the internal operations of the orgnaization which utimately effect the quality of the products and services of the organzation and worklife for employees. 

If you think of an organizational system as a hanging wind chime and one part of that chime is touched, the entire structure moves. The more powerful the wind on the chime, the greater the number of chimes producing the sound. This image is a productive way to look at your organization. There are certain driving forces always interacting and causing the organization to move. While this movement often leads to positive change, there will also be many cases where unresolved issues erode trust and confidence among the team members and become “flash points” that fuel future conflict. OCG uses an Action Research approach to assist the organization identifying its strengths and opportunities for change. We work with our clients to gain an understanding the interrelationships between the business situation (forces in the external environment), the business strategy (the goals and values), the design (technology, structure, size), the culture, and the business resluts ( the outputs produced) effect the competitive advantage of the company.

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Action Research

OCG uses an Action Research Approach to assess the relationships between the external environment, the internal operations and culture, and the effectiveness of the orgnaization’s performance. Action research involves collecting information about the organization, feeding this information back to the client system, and developing and implementing action programs to improve system performance. We use a range of qualitative and quantitative methods, customized to meet the needs of the client, in support of analyzing the organization as an “open system”.

There are three general steps involved in effectively conducting action research. We collect high-level data on the business environment, technical systems, and culture (social systems). Step 1 is to collect information which requires each team member to assess the work environment and culture within the organization. Step 2 provides a review, analysis and interpretation of that information. Step 3 identifies what the organization does “best” and the “realm of the possible” to envision the collective desired future state and the action needed to successfully translate that vision into positive change. 

Team Design, Development and Implementation

OCG uses a process consulting approach in working with teams to develop a set of activities that helps the client to perceive, understand, and improve. Process consulting is not a technique; it is a philosophy of how to be helpful and is based upon a very thorough diagnosis of the problems made jointly by the consultant and client.

OCG works with executive, mid-level management, and staff teams as well as cross-functional process redesign teams and project teams to improve their focus, collaboration styles, and results. Whether it is a self-managed team (SMT) or a new task team, OCG offers tested techniques for building high performance teams. We have tools that will help team members develop the team mission, charter, and goals, understand how to define and negotiate their roles and expectations, define their level of empowerment and decision making governance, and measure team effectiveness in terms of organizational goals.

Conflict Management

Understanding and valuing our differences is the key to embracing diversity.  Understanding and valuing our common interests is the key to successfully managing conflict. Managing conflict requires new technical and interpersonal skills. OCG emphasizes the kinds of skills required to manage the personal and interpersonal conflicts facing many employees in a wide range of environments. We work with all levels of employees to understand the major causes of conflict and define strategies for managing and resolving it. We use experience based learning to ensure complete understanding of the five steps to managing conflict and understanding conflict resolution styles.  OCG also provides on-going coaching for individual and group effectiveness.