Organisational development

Helping your organisation be fit for purpose, fit for the future

For more details about how our organisational development practitioners could help your organisation, please call 020 7307 2650 or email leadership@kingsfund.org.uk.

Why now is the time to consider organisational development

The health service is facing arguably the greatest financial, performance and system challenges in its history. Across its many organisations, people are grappling with complex, multi-layered issues that demand change. To make that change sustainable, those issues require more than one-stop management solutions.

While programmes focused on developing the leadership skills of individuals still have an important role to play, there is increasing recognition that these issues require an approach which focuses on a whole organisation or system.

Organisational development (OD) works alongside the people facing these issues – to build their confidence, competence and energy to create meaningful change.

Why choose organisational development at The King’s Fund

Unlike other consulting approaches, OD at The King’s Fund starts from the premise that the experts in addressing these issues are the people who face them every day. What inhibits them is often a range of interlinking factors – inability to see underlying problems, breakdowns in relationships, siloed thinking and cultures, cycles of negativity.

OD at The King’s Fund centres on partnering with people to improve relationships within an organisation. Strengthen the quality of those relationships, and you strengthen your chances of resolving immediate issues. Your staff develop the confidence, skills and commitment to implement change. Your organisation moves to a stronger footing to meet the ever-evolving challenges in health care.

The King’s Fund’s unique expertise

OD practitioners at The King’s Fund bring with them a powerful combination of expertise that works on three levels:

Hands-on experience

Many of our OD practitioners reached senior positions in a variety of health care roles before pursuing a career in consulting. So they can empathise fully with the complexity of issues their clients face.

Highly skilled in OD

Relationship-building is second nature to our practitioners. They are highly skilled in partnering clients, moving alongside client systems, helping them to surface issues and understand the human dynamics behind them. They have at their fingertips a theoretical framework and a toolkit of interventions to help bring about and implement change.

Contextual understanding

The King’s Fund has a reputation for producing high-quality research and policy analysis. This work informs and enhances that of our OD practitioners. As a result, they have an in-depth knowledge of the broader context that surrounds the health service. In their work with you, our practitioners draw on that policy expertise to help make sense of the wider forces affecting health care.

How we will partner with you and your organisation

Every organisation is different. We don’t arrive with a predetermined view of the problem and a predetermined solution. Only once we have helped you unpick and understand the issues, will we then agree a bespoke programme of work.

Our appreciative approach is tailored to respond to the issues that surface, evolving as the engagement unfolds and respectful of the way your organisation works. In broad terms, our engagement is guided by this cycle of inquiry, discovery, reflection.

The cycle of inquiry, discovery, reflection

  • Inquiry – Complex problems can be difficult to articulate fully. Often an issue that seems uppermost can mask underlying problems. We start by talking to people in your organisation, gathering information, to gauge how complex the situation is.
  • Surface – That inquiry enables us to get beneath the surface, cast light on deeper perhaps unarticulated issues and unpick the complications. We aim to help you make sense of the issue and its interlinked aspects.
  • Implement – It may be that reaching this understanding is enough. If it’s not, we build a programme of work, specific to your needs. We apply our theoretical framework and practical expertise to devise interventions that work for you – eg, coaching, mentoring, large group work, small group discussions, skills workshops or individual development. As each intervention unfolds, we take stock and adapt if needs be.
  • Evaluate – We evaluate and analyse our interventions to measure impact, demonstrate effectiveness and steer future programming. We feed this back to you to appreciate what works in your context.
  • Share – Sharing is about amplifying what works within your organisation. Together we decide how to cascade those discoveries to other levels of your organisation.

Beliefs guiding organisational development at The King’s Fund

  • Our central belief is that complex issues need complex solutions. The situation you present to us is often not the full story. The situation is often so complex, so expansive, that it is hard to articulate it fully.
  • We believe that you have the resourcefulness to solve your problems. The people doing the job are usually those who best understand the issues and the organisational culture surrounding them. They can be the agents of change for their organisations.
  • We believe that real and sustainable change happens when you engage the whole system, working across boundaries and traditional roles.
  • Our role is that of partner, working alongside you to help surface issues or co-create change. We will not solve your problem or impose changes. We create the conditions, the provocation and the stimulation for you to access your own ability to change.
  • We aim to leave your organisation and its people better placed to deal with its issues and changes. By building confidence, competence and the energy to act, we aim to leave an organisation fit for its purpose today – and fit for future challenges.
  • We take an appreciative approach – we surface what is working and work with the energy for change. We catalyse reflection, self-examination, ownership, leadership, direction and a continuously learning or improving mind set among all members of your organisation.
  • We have a deep understanding of staff engagement and the need to genuinely value the workforce, the work they do and the people they serve. We have expertise in clinical engagement, and are aware of the dilemmas specific to clinicians’ working pressures.

Are some of these issues familiar to your organisation?

Our organisational development team have specific experience in situations where these issues arise. Read these case studies to understand more:

For more details about how our organisational development (OD) practitioners could help your organisation, please call 020 7307 2650 or email leadership@kingsfund.org.uk.