Our Work: Organisational Development

Organisational Development is the process of maximising the potential of organisations to achieve their primary purpose and to effect change for the people and communities that they serve.

CAN’s Organisational Development work is varied, including strategic planning, leadership mentorship, coaching, and managing crises and change. It is always designed and carried out with the active involvement of those with whom we are working. This work is always confidential to the organisation concerned.

In this area, CAN helps organisations to reflect on their current functioning and look again at their vision and the strategies needed to deliver it. In doing this, we look at the total organisation, its culture, and its relationships with the wider environment in which it operates. This may also include team building, improving communication systems and helping to bring clarity to the roles of individuals in the organisation.

Our practice is informed by whole systems thinking, an understanding of the value of intrinsic leadership, change frameworks and learning through reflection and dialogue.

The following examples are offered to give a sense of what we do and how we do it. 

Strategic Planning

CAN’s approach to strategic planning is to encourage the active involvement of all staff and stakeholders thus building greater commitment to the agreed outcomes and understanding of the work.  We work appreciatively and our experience tells us that this gets people in touch with their strengths, allows for creative imagining and provides a strong basis for planning ahead.

An example in action: https://www.wevideo.com/view/2865632099

Working with senior management teams leading and managing change

In some cases, we provide leadership coaching to the CEO who is overseeing change within their organisation. Alongside this one-to-one support CAN also facilitate sessions for the senior management team, where they can tease out issues and challenges in a safe confidential space. These reflective practice sessions provide a valuable context for the team to work out and agree strategies for managing and leading change within their wider organisation .

Inter-Agency collaboration in Leading Change

By invitation, CAN facilitates large group inter-agency processes for organisations working to address issues including domestic abuse, responses to young people at risk, and hidden harms to children caused through drugs and alcohol. The agencies include TUSLA, Local Drug and Alcohol Taskforces, Addiction Services, Child and Family Organisations, Domestic Abuse Services, Family Resource Centres, An Garda Síochána and local authorities.

Working with teams in crisis

CAN has expertise working with teams in crisis. For example, CAN has worked with a long-established large, multi-disciplinary team who had responsibility for designing and delivering learning programmes. The crisis revolved around loss of trust, breakdown in communications, meetings that were no longer serving the objectives and values of the organisation. As a result of the intervention, and with the good-will of the team members, relationships were rebuilt, trust was restored and teamwork was improved. The outcome of this work was a more productive team, who could work better together and in service of those with whom they work.

Leadership Coaching & Mentoring

CAN‘s model of leadership coaching offers individual leaders a confidential space to reflect on their leadership practice. Our approach offers opportunities for leaders to develop new insights and deeper personal awareness along with practical tools and strategies. It helps them to play to their strengths and to change the communication and behaviour patterns that are not serving them well. Our model is informed by David Kantor’s Structural Dynamics, Dialogue Theory and Practice and other systemic change theories and methods.

Long-term Organisational Development managing change

CAN has worked with a Family Resource Centre for nearly twenty years, at key times in its development. Interventions include regular reviews and reflection in different parts of the organisation and with the whole organisation; supporting individual teams to reflect on their programmes of work; checking for alignment with guiding values and goals; helping to expose any underlying issues and supporting staff to address them.  There is also leadership coaching with the Manager.