Organisational and Institutional Development

It is always difficult to differentiate between organisational and institutional development! You surely know the difference: the police is an institution whereas the different police posts are separate organisations under an entire thing also called organisation. So, it's quite tricky but basically I see it like this: organisational development contributes to institutional development at a higher level (ordinarily called: profile, standing or reputation).

OD/ID activities were always part of almost every assignment during the last 15 years because both, projects and local partner institutions, are usually in a situation where they need hands-on assistance in this field. More often than not, it's quite easy to analyse basic bottlenecks and shortcomings within organisations. If you're able to convince the management regarding the necessity of changes and –furthermore - if you can motivate management and staff to sit down, analyse (through practical exercises), reflect and make plans for future changes, then the whole story is usually rather easy. “There's always a better” is not only a slogan for improved entrepreneurial success but also for organisations with some ambition as a whole.

During my OD/ID assignments I usually opt for the “Integrated Organisational Model” (IOM) as my basic tool, which is very comprehensive through its magnificent graphical presentation. The mix of six factors of the internal organisation model (strategies, structure, management style, personnel, system, and culture) needs to be properly defined and practised, so that mission, input as well as general and specific environmental conditions ( external organisation model) can be successfully moulded in order to achieve the expected output.

The notion of “learning organisations” became a trend about fifteen years ago but it hardly exceeded theoretical contemplation in the development world, so we sat down and developed a comprehensive workshop. Along with a former colleague, Christoph Köpfli, and my partner Ton van der Krabben, we prepared the so-called SOLID-model (“Strategy of Organisational Learning In Development”) workshop which focuses on the improvement of the organisational performance as a learning organisation focussing on concepts, methods and instruments. We produced a nice promotional device, which I would like to share with you if you click on (solid.pdf)

A real “sweety” in my ID/OD experiences was the long-term assignment in a GTZ Project in Rwanda which I headed from 10/99 to 06/04. The objective was the set-up and proper functioning of three craftsmen federations and – of course – the project organisation being the motor of all development efforts during the initial phase. ID/OD was successfully linked to local economic development efforts and to activities on macro-, meso- and micro level, which was highlighted by various evaluation reports.