Organizations best develop
through developing individuals.
Individuals best develop
through developing organizations.
- The Ubuntu Group
The core of any organization are its people that bring their strengths, their struggles, and everything in between. Thus, from this view, the fundamental focus of any organizational development must first and foremost be on developing people. Alternatively, it is also true that individuals develop best through organizations that are doing the same. Thus, from this alternative view, the focus must be on developing the organization that will then develop it’s sub systems and individuals.
The Ubuntu Group holds both these realities in tension. This is not an either-or endeavor, it’s a both-and. To grow and change, individuals and organizations both need to be tended to so that they mutually reinforce the other.
For more on the Ubuntu Group’s integration of this individual vis-à-vis organizational approach see our Organizational Behavior (OB) and Organizational Development (OD) page: OB vis-à-vis OD.
Today’s Context: VUCA and Opportunities
The context of today’s organizations is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). Three decades ago the relative balance of détente that was the Cold War ended and with it brought fractured and combative new states, the global spread of terrorism, deep recessions, and the worst pandemic threat seen in a hundred years. At the same time, we are more connected than ever before and thus have more opportunities at our fingertips. Every organization, from small family-owned businesses to massive multinational corporations, is part of a context that is at best precarious and at worst treacherous. And, because of this, there is great gain available for those able and willing to respond.
In this VUCA environment all organizations need not just be ready to adapt but be always, actively adjusting. These interventions are broadly systematized as organizational…
Strategy & Decision Making
Change & Transformation
Growth, Re-Organizational, & Contraction
Understanding, Learning, & Research
Leadership Development, Leadership Pipeline Development, & Succession
Evaluations & Performance Management
Rewards & Benefits
How does all this get worked through? A process, of course.
The Process: Action Research
The core of The Ubuntu Group’s consulting process is a focus on practicing and imparting learning of individual and organization improvement through an expanded version of the Action Research process.
Action Research is a process by which a series of stages are moved through multiple times to refine the results. In one way there is a linear movement from planning to action to results. But at the same time there are several loops that take one back to the previous stage or stages with new information that makes that step clearer that in turn makes the following steps more successful. Thus, the process is less like walking down a street (going in one direction at a steady pace) and more like a bubbling brook that ebbs and flows with its eddies and currents of different strength and direction. In its mature form Action Research is a powerful tool to not only initiate organizational change but sustain it.