My 2 bits 4 OD – Giving the new team a leg-up

Sarcasm. Cynicism. Escapist. Defeatist. Deserter. Growup. Wakeup.

I decided to turn a new leaf. For once. And show all those who showered such encomiums on me, see me for what I am.

A sucker.

One who easily caves in. And wants to do the right thing, once, just once in life. And then hopefully, life will be as usual.

So here I go digressing from my chosen path. Trying to give actionable spiel. Straight and Simple. Take it or leave me to do my thing.


Imagine starting a new function/team – Alliances & Partnerships, Employee relationship management, Analytics, Talent grooming etc. You believe it can add tremendous value to your organization. You are unsure if it will be accepted fully by other stakeholders it is expected to support. You do not want to be seen aggressively pushing it, as it may lead to resistance and you may be pulled in once too often to sort things. You do not want to rock the boat, lest it upset the current state of affairs. You are sure though that once the new function/team proves its worth; functions will become more receptive to leaning on it. What do you do?

Here are my two bits:

  • Invite all stakeholder functions, the new team is expected to support, for a meeting
  • Ask the stakeholder functions to list 2 projects each, they want outsourced if budget and external agency were provided to them

    The characteristics of these challenges must be that they

    • Are not yet initiated by the respective teams due to lack of
      • Internal resources
      • Bandwidth
      • Expertise
    • Can be completed in the next 3/6 months
    • Require the skill/expertise of the new function/team that is created
    • Are value-adding and not cosmetic in nature
    • The value-addition can be quantified
  • Ask the various stakeholder functions to chose 1/2 projects from the total listed basis their
    • Criticality to the organization
    • Involvement/interactions with multiple functions etc.
  • Ask them to identify success metrics for the same


  • Introduce the new team formally – Outline the vision for the new function; its key objectives; contours of its role and responsibilities; skills; experience etc.
  • Tell them that the new function will lead the identified project(s)
  • Ask those stakeholder functions whose project it is to nominate a Single Point Of Contact from their function to facilitate inputs
  • Schedule a review mechanism till the end of the project
  • Invite the new team to take the project forward

Here the assumption is that reason-whys for setting up the new team is clear in the top management’s mind. And the decision is taken after satisfactorily answering certain key questions like:

  • Is there a need for a new team or support function within the organization?
  • What does it do that cannot be done by one or any of the teams in the existing set-up?
  • How does the new function help the organization? Will its impact be incremental or a long lasting game-changer?
  • Are there initiatives / projects that it can take up and execute over the next few years or is it like setting up a task force?

Will it work? I don’t know. Is it worth trying? I believe so.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. mrunalini says:

    Maybe there is a cold shouldered response because very few people identify with it 🙂 While most people get to start a task that involves a 360 degree buy in – a task that he/she believes will increase efficieny, I wonder how many actually go ahead and start a team around it.

    My two cents: I agree with the senior management support art. When a person takes the initiative to start something, though the teammates buy it, they would not allocate the required time unless the proposal is “vehemently” supported by senior management. At the end of the day, the objective is simple – get into the best books of the senior management with whatever it takes to appease them, coz they decide the pay hike, promotion and bonus 😀

  2. Lavender says:

    Scats, Its a nice attempt at sensible talk minus the bite of scathing reality. But I guess I love the real You.
    The topic covered is meaty though. As a OD person I can sympathize with the need of clearly drawn strategic move to run an intervention. OD is a very clear strategic need requiring a lot of buy in from the employees without which you will be called in to clear air more times than you will care to remember.I call it the 360 buy-in drive. Most of the time the senior management takes the decision to run an intervention and move off leaving the harassed OD team( mostly consisting of an external consultant and and internal manager or associate) to handle the change and aftermath there of. There in starts your time. OD with out complete involvement of the senior management and leadership is better not even attempted.

    1. ivak99 says:

      Thanks Lavender glad you thought it was a nice attempt. The outcome is it has got the lowest hits till date of any entry that I have have to bid adieu to this shortlived (snuffed out at the very beginning, do I hear?) naive attempt to do the good thing! Thank you cruel world, here I go to my good ol meandering ways as promised

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s