Carlton Rogers was CEO of a biotech company, Gensys that had undergone a quick and successful start-up due to the discovery and early development of a promising diabetes drug. Rogers was viewed favorably by the Board and by Gensys employees. However, when safety issues emerged in Phase II trials, Rogers was not able to adequately convince the Board that the crisis was surmountable. In the ranks, employees began to lose confidence in their leader.
Rogers responded by calling in his preferred consulting group and asked for advice on weathering the storm. A month later, Rogers had the chief consultant address a “town hall” meeting for all supervisors, and the consultant explained and distributed a packaged communication plan that required all supervisors to provide information to their direct reports to allay their concerns. Most (but not all) supervisors called meetings, most (but not all) employees attended, and after the one-way communication occurred, Rogers proclaimed the morale problem had been fixed.
The consultants got paid, the employees became more disillusioned, and the Board began to ask questions about Rogers’ capability.
A few questions:
How well did Rogers respond to employee concerns? How effective was the top-down, consultant-driven approach? What could have been done to have a more successful outcome ?
Organization development – or organization effectiveness – is long-range, not “quick fix.” Organization development (OD) can be the high level outcomes of strategic planning and change management, or it can be the means for achieving strategic change, which includes diagnosis, problem solving, planning, building individual and group relationships, etc.
At YOU CAN LEAD, we have considerable experience in systems thinking and using a systems orientation in organizations. Typically, our approach and programs focus on integration of strategic planning, change management, employee engagement, leadership capability, and individual development. We have extensive backgrounds in all facets of change management, such as assessment, facilitation, communication and collaboration processes, action planning, and evaluation. We understand that quick fixes are not enough for organizations’ complex problems, and we work with our clients to achieve true and lasting change.