During the 1970’s some of the most important inventions of today’s world began to emerge from tech companies. Things like email, mobile phones, digital cameras, the MRI and who could forget the Sony Walkman?

What also hit the shelves in the 70’s was a textbook called Organizational Development: Values, Process, and Technology. (Newton Margulies and Anthony P. Raia. 1972)  

This groundbreaking book outlined the 6 fundamental values that leaders need to mindfully and strategically build into their company cultures, and it forever changed the way we think about work culture and performance. 

The 6 Core Work Culture Values

Margulies and Raia introduced the following 6 core values as essential to organizational development:

  1. Providing opportunities for people to function as human beings rather than as resources in the productive process.
  2. Providing opportunities for each organization member, as well as for the organization itself, to develop to their full potential.
  3. Seeking to increase the effectiveness of the organization in terms of all of its goals.
  4. Attempting to create an environment in which it is possible to find exciting and challenging work.
  5. Providing opportunities for people in organizations to influence the way in which they relate to work, the organization, and the environment.
  6. Treating each human being as a person with a complex set of needs, all of which are important in their work and in their life.

Organizational Development is the strategy of aligning company culture, business strategy, structure, management processes and human dynamics. 

Although it’s been part of the business world for many years it’s new to many leaders and entrepreneurs who just want to focus on what they are good at and let everything else work itself out on its own.

Why focusing on what you’re good at doesn’t work

In today’s tech world, successful leaders have often built a team of employees, brought on suppliers and grown their client base all without thinking too much about what kind of a workplace will actually ‘work’.

They prefer to keep their focus on what they’re good at so they can keep up the great work. 

But this creates an entrepreneurial blindspot that they need to see around: success does not work that way. 

As a leader, if you rely on one skill set, one talent or one area of expertise, you’ll soon overuse your strength causing disruption in your workplace and ultimately creating low employee engagement and high turnover.

This leads directly to the loss of clients, sales and profits. Doing what you always did to get what you have always got will inevitably work against you and your growing company if it hasn’t already.

Why is Organizational Development necessary?

It’s natural for us to invest most of our time, energy and brainpower in the part of our business that we’re good at. Doing what we’re good at makes us feel good about ourselves and makes us feel safe, secure and productive.

For Tech Leaders that means given the choice, you’ll immerse yourself in your core competency, but more tech skills are not what you need to learn.

Once you start hiring people to work for you, getting those people to work together and giving some of those people managerial responsibility, you need to start building a workplace that will work. 

That’s where Organizational Development steps in and delivers.

Slow down to speed up

There’s a great paradox that’s true for tech leaders – in order to speed up to keep up, you’ll have to slow down. 

Slow down so that you can learn about human nature and what it takes for people to thrive at work. Why? For companies to thrive, people must thrive.

The 6 core values of Organizational Development will take you to that next level, and they’re a key component of my coaching practice when I’m working with tech leaders across the globe.

The world of technology is evolving at an unprecedented speed but what it takes for human beings to thrive is unchanging.

Have you implemented these 6 core values into your work culture?  Let me know in the comments below.

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