What Does an Organizational Development Consultant Do?

An organization that isn't working up to its potential is in danger of failing, and the health of any profitable business depends on its workforce. An organizational development consultant is an independent contractor who is trained to enter an organization and develop a plan to make it healthy and profitable. If you want to know what an organizational development consultant does, keep reading. Schools offering Nonprofit Management & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

An organizational development consultant is a person called in to a company, be it a large corporation or a small business, to evaluate how it operates and make recommendations for improvement. Organizational development consultants are typically hired when a firm is struggling and needs to make changes in order to remain profitable. Such consultants are often highly educated in the field of business, have experience in managerial roles, and depend on an excellent reputation for bringing businesses back to profitability in order to continue being hired by other struggling groups.

While each business is different, some of the tools used by such consultants to institute positive business changes include:

Important Facts About Organizational Development Consultants

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Clear communication, multitasking, organization, observational, critical and analytical thinking, customer focused, team oriented, computer competency, reading comprehension
Work Environment Heavy travel working in the offices of clients
Similar Occupations Director of operations, human resources director, information technology director, program project manager, training and development manager

Organizational Assessment

Through observation, research, and interviews, an organizational development consultant analyzes the corporate culture of a company. In doing so, you determine whether the parts are working together as a whole.

Change Management

Changing management doesn't always mean that you have to change personnel. Based on what you have learned through your assessment, you work with management and teams to plan and implement changes in both work practices and office environment behaviors. Of course, if the existing management does not wish to change, you might have to recommend personnel changes and look for new hires.

Some of the changes you might recommend would be employee-driven, such changing job duties or developing plans to keep valuable employees.

Problem Solving and Team Building

Your assessment might show that there is a specific problem that is hindering a company's performance. After identifying the problem as being employee-driven or due to the business model, you will then be responsible for developing a solution. Using learned methods in organizational planning and group dynamics, you will develop and implement team building skills between employees and the management team. This will help to improve team harmony through interpersonal communications and stress reduction, thereby increasing productivity.

Process Consulting

During the assessment process, you will research various business methods to determine an appropriate plan. You will use that information to identify successful practices and work with the team to reinforce those applications. You may also stress the need to discard what does not work and develop new business models that can work with current effective methods.

Meeting Design

Too often, meetings never accomplish much beyond getting everyone away from their work stations. As an organizational development consultant, you will monitor how meetings are used at a business and work to develop a plan to teach meeting facilitators how to organize materials, set an agenda, and keep a meeting on task.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of organizational development consultants earn between $54,342 and $130,419 a year, as of September 2015. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of consulting, the BLS did project that the employment of management analysts, who perform similar job duties, will likely grow by about 14% between 2014 and 2024, a rate faster than the average predicted for all occupations.

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