KB 52 Organisation Development

a human resource newsletter

issue no 52 | november 2012

continued from previous page | EXPANDING HORIZONS THROUGH OD : Henrik von Sydow

2. How does the OD perspective di!er in a start-up entrepreneurial organization from that of a structured decentralized organization? You need di!erent kinds of personalities and skills in a mature organization compared to a start-up. In a start-up, at least successful ones, the small team of people is typically obsessed by a mission or a vision in which they religiously believe. More often than not the original vision is gradually subject to change as the concept matures, new insights are gained and market reality kicks in.

4. You have expanded your horizons over the years, from leading the organization e!ectively to making it global. How has OD helped you in this journey of growth? In my view it comes down to some essential elements in leadership:  Lead by example; people will do what the leader does, not what he or she says (if the two di!er).  Be a leader not a boss! People ‘want’ to follow the leader while they ‘have’ to follow the boss.  Assess your team by their achievements, ability, drive, loyalty and personality but never ever by their nationality, ethnicity, age or gender!  Trust your instinct!  Trust your people! 5. What is your message to those who aspire to be entrepreneurs but are apprehensive of taking the leap?  Remember, what you tend to regret most in life is not something you did but something you didn’t do!  Go ahead and jump in from the deep end of the pool!  Don’t take “No” for an answer – people will always tell you “this can’t be done”, “it has been tried before” and so on.  Believe!  Be prepared to work “24/7” for small "nancial returns in early stages.  “The more I practice the luckier I get” (Jack Nicklaus)

To cope with this there is mostly little hierarchy but there is always a leader driving the team with unorthodox methods and limited traditional leadership skills. There is no one to go to for answers since there are no answers, but mostly just questions! The team must be free from prestige, free from concern to do wrong and totally open-minded to any and all ideas that #ow inside the group. In the mature organization you must have guidelines, rules, processes, structure, target setting and some hierarchy or else there will be chaos. Ideally this structure is combined with a “controlled” entrepreneurial spirit, a dynamic “cocktail” that many large organizations dream of but not so many are able to establish. 3. What challenges does an entrepreneur face while aligning the employee development plans with organization development goals? I have always been more of a “big organization” guy seeking structure etc. It is interesting to watch organizations at close range grow from grass root. People starting and others subsequently joining such organizations are not seeking OD or security. They are drawn to the adventure, passionate about the idea and are driven to succeed in the venture. Little time is spent on“people development”which tends to take care of itself by the energy and enthusiasm generated within the small group. Some people can take the “creative chaos” and "nd peace and satisfaction from it, others don’t "t in. Time will tell who is who.

The views expressed in this article are solely of those of the person interviewed.

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