Survey-Guided Organization Development

Survey-Guided Organization Development: A Powerful Leadership Tool

If your organization is not systematically working on organization development requirements on an ongoing basis, the possibility is that unplanned or even chance events will initiate much of the evolution of your organization. A survey-guided organization development (OD) approach can be built into an LMS to focus and leverage any blended approach to Learning and Development. Effectiveness hinges on 6 key factors, namely: mindset, a model, methodology, measurement, mapping, and motivation.


Successful leaders continually look for new and better ways to leverage top performance from their organizations. They have an acute understanding that future results are dependent on constantly looking to improve what is done every day. They also have a pragmatic understanding that what does not get systemized and measured is often overlooked.

A Model

Importantly, astute leaders understand the folly of ascribing performance gaps mostly to training needs. In fact, they understand that a capability gap is only one possible reason for a performance gap. It is clear to them that they need to continuously assess and develop all the factors that affect organizational performance and health. They believe in having a systematic, holistic, informed, non-stop evolutionary approach to keeping their organizations healthy and relevant, to be able to achieve and maintain stellar performance. Especially, in these times of constant change and disruption.

An evolutionary approach is most effective when it is based on an open-ended model that includes and integrates all relevant best practices that relate to organizational health and performance. Any model used must be holistic, logical and easy to understand. It is essential that the constructs that make up the model are concrete, measurable and capable of being developed through specific action.


LMS capability can be leveraged (using survey-guided OD methodology) to involve all employees in assessing the factors that determine organizational performance, health, and long-term success. The results can then be graphed and presented as a highly visual snapshot for each team as well as, in sum, for any division, and for the total organization. Then, a comprehensive and inclusive support process can be provided via the LMS to assist each manager (together with their teams) to develop the factors that will lead to optimizing their team's health and performance and thereby, cumulatively, that of the entire organization. Progress for each team can be measured and constantly tracked through the LMS.

OD diagnostic and action tools can be built into any suitable LMS. Importantly, all employees are included and involved in the ongoing process of building and maintaining high performance in a productive, healthy work environment. But, to make this happen, leadership must ensure that the right processes and disciplines are in place. The benefit of this is that leadership can have an ongoing comprehensive picture of the entire organization and each team in it, in terms of the factors that are important to current and future organizational performance and health. They can also track the progress of each team as they take action to improve their areas of opportunity. The process of measurement and action is, by definition, an ongoing process as depicted diagrammatically in the example below.

Measurement And Mapping

A key aspect of any good survey-guided organization development program is the presentation of results in a clear, easy-to-understand format. It is essential that follow-up assessments can easily be compared with past assessments in order to monitor the success of action taken as well as to keep track of any new opportunities for improvement, which may have developed in the interim for whatever reason. Below is an example of how the result might be presented by team, by division and for the organization as a whole. Importantly, leadership has sight, through the LMS, of all results and actions being taken so that they can applaud positive results as well as step in to assist as necessary.


There are 3 major sources of motivation, namely: inclusion of all employees in having influence over things that matter, the "self-motivation" implicit in being involved in making the workplace a better place to be, and the fact that there will be follow-up on matters in which leadership has a declared and vested interest, that is, the factors that affect the sustainable health and performance of their organization.

Success hinges on a robust process, with visible and involved leadership motivating an inclusive and collaborative approach to building an organization environment that works for all.

In Summary

LMSs, together with survey-guided organization development methodology, offer the opportunity to create an online organization development program that involves all employees in the ongoing process of assessing and developing all the factors that build and maintain high performance in a productive, healthy work environment. This is in the best interest of everyone as it will enable the development and leveraging of new capabilities that will keep employees and the organization relevant in a continuously changing and challenging operating environment.