Organisation development and design (OD&D) specialists help organisations understand their current and desired future states, while taking a systemic approach to guiding the organisation forward. 

What does an OD&D specialist do?

OD&D specialists help enable the success of organisation strategy by bringing together all parts of the organisation to make sure the organisation’s ‘system’ operates at its best. They look at both the ‘hard’ elements of the system (structures, processes, policies, and metrics) and ‘soft’ elements of the system (culture, values, behaviours and relationships), and bring these together to help people and organisations perform at their best. 

As an OD&D specialist, you will need to understand behavioural science the way people think, interact and behave as individuals and groups and know how to enable behaviour and culture change. OD&D specialists often have to use their own insight, perception, judgement and personality to influence and support organisations to change their thinking and behaviour in order to be their best. If you are a specialist focusing on organisation design, you’ll need to understand how to design roles and structures which enable better organisation performance 

Your typical activities

Here are some of the activities you can expect to be involved in as an OD&D specialist:

  • Advising on organisational design and structures
  • Undertaking organisational diagnostics. 
  • Creating organisational development interventions
  • Designing organisational values. 
  • Designing and delivering behavioural interventions. 
  • Leading on culture change programmes
  • Advising on work design choices and approaches.

Types of roles in organisation development and design

Here is a shortlist of the types of job titles you might find in organisation development and design. As you can see, OD&D specialists are at all levels of experience and seniority: 

  • Organisational development officer 
  • Organisation design manager 
  • Organisational development business partner 
  • Organisation development practitioner 
  • Organisation design specialist 
  • OD consultant 
  • Head of organisational development and design 
  • Director of organisational development 

A day in the life of an
OD&D specialist

A day in the life of Garin Rouch, Director Leadership and Organisation Development at Outstand Consultancy

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CIPD Learning courses in OD&D

Organisation Development

Gain an understanding of the key characteristics and theories of Organisational Development that shape and underpin the practice

Organisational Design

Learn the theories, approaches and tools that can be utilised to strengthen your practice in Organisation Design

Develop your knowledge in OD&D

OD&D standards

Each OD&D standard progresses through four levels of impact. Which level do you most embody in your day-to-day work?

OD&D resources

Explore our resources on the process of organisation design and the approach of organisation development

Find your perfect job in HR, L&D or any other area of the people profession

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Career options in the
people profession

Explore the twelve career areas within the people profession, and the typical activities you may find yourself doing

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Career guidance

Information and guidance to help you excel in your role, transition into the profession, and manage a career break

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