The Transformation of Africa Lies In Organisational Development
WRITTEN BY: VITUS DONO (MSC OD, ODCC) SEPTEMBER 6, 2015, FIRST PUBLICATION: WWW.VITUSODCONSULT.COM
The African continent is saddled with myopic and eccentric politicking which has for ages, tied Africa to a pathetic state of underdevelopment, destruction, and disaster. It is indeed ironic to find Africans among the top richest individuals in the world while the continent still rates as the poorest. It is no secret that Africa is endowed with most of the world’s most valuable minerals and natural reserves. Yet, the fact of mismanagement of our assets hits us hard in the face each time Africa is mentioned. While we cannot dispute the unlimited educational strive of our leaders, we may need to question the application of what they learn in the development of this continent. Africa will not hesitate to boast of learned Professors and Doctors in several disciplines. In the light of Organizational Development (OD), the more critical aspect of our development lies not only in the content but more critically in the process. African leaders need to divert from the stereotyped dogmatic principles of development and embrace the more pragmatic participatory approach to development practiced in OD.
Organizational Development (OD) involves facilitating an organizations ability to self-reflect, self regulate and take control of its own processes of improvement and learning (Kaplan, 1966) with a view to effectively achieving its purpose for existence (Kumawu and Kraus, 2007)
OD is a systematically planned effort to transform an Organization into higher, healthier, and self-sustaining performance through critical capacity assessment and planned interventions. It is unique in its approach to development due to the application of the Action Research Model in all change efforts. One insurmountable strength of the OD approach is the use of data gathering and analysis to reflect the true state of the organization prior to action planning. More often than not, African leaders are prone to blurred assumptions prompting them into assumed solutions which often end up temporarily shadowing the real problems and hindrances to development. It is an established fact that most surfacing problems are often symptoms of an underlying defect in a system. African organizations will need as a lifeline, to embrace the tested and proven processes of OD if there is any hope for the transformation of the African continent.
The goal of OD is to improve organizational effectiveness as defined by the organization itself and it is only when African Leaders have been able to embed OD into various political and governmental organizations across the sub-region, can we see the true transformation of the African Continent.
KAPLAN, ALLAN (1996) THE DEVELOPMENT PRACTITIONER’S HANDBOOK, LONDON PLUTO PRESS.
NOBLE KUMAWU AND WILLIAM A. KRAUS: GLOBAL ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT, A MODEL FOR AFRICA AND THE WORLD OCIC. ACCRA, GHANA. 2007.
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