Organisational development must be viewed as product design, with a focus on designing processes, not just structures. This approach allows for better adaptation to change and encourages innovation. A key element is the feedback loop, which enables continuous learning and improvement. It’s important to design these loops intentionally, not leave them to chance.

In a successful example, a network of community foundations designed a system to share knowledge and learn from each other. This system, which included regular check-ins and a shared online platform, enabled the network to adapt and grow effectively.

However, it’s not enough to simply design good processes. They must be implemented and managed effectively. This requires a balance between flexibility and consistency. Too much flexibility can lead to chaos, while too much consistency can stifle innovation.

The role of leadership is crucial in this context. Leaders must facilitate the process, not control it. They must create a safe space for experimentation and learning, and ensure that the organisation’s culture supports this approach.

Finally, it’s important to remember that organisational development is a journey, not a destination. It requires ongoing effort and commitment, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

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