OD Interview Paper
Presented paper aims at dwelling on the key insights gained during the interview with the business owner, Russell Powers. Experience as well as expertise of this professional are unchallenged due to his education and initiatives that he has realized throughout his business career. The interview with Mr. Powers was conducted via Skype mainly because of his tough work schedule. This research is divided into several parts. It starts with the general overview of the career and education of Mr. Powers gradually shifting to his experience of the organizational development stages, his role in it as well as negative and positive aspects gained from this practical knowledge.
Mr. Powers, can you please briefly describe your professional educational experience?
I am an executive with more than 18 years of managerial practice. I am powerful in leading international teams and accomplishing organizational goals. Currently, I am a business owner at Powersource Medical, DBA. Before that, I occupied leading positions in many internationally recognized companies including Medtronic Spine and Biologics.
I have also earned Bachelor's degree in sales and marketing at the University of Memphis. In overall, I went through many organizational development stages on practice and, therefore, I possess my own vision of the OD. Despite the traditional approach that provides with five steps of the OD, businessman stresses that there are a lot more of them (Gallos, 2008; Gummings, 2008; McLean, 2014).
What is your experience with OD processes?
I can outline a few organizational development stages and my experience in them. Yet, one should draw attention to my role in the OD of the TL Products. This company was the first one on my professional path and it was not international unlike others that I worked for. In addition, the rest of the firms were at the stage of performing. During the changes that TL Products had to face, I occupied the role of the senior products manager and the agent of change.
I was specifically assigned to the marketing department were I tried to navigate it through the norming-performing transitional stage. Frequently, I initiated the organizational developed and indicated the areas that needed immediate intervention.
What was your role in the OD processes and what was their outcome?
At the time when I joined the company TL Products was quite a successful and fast growing venture within its market share. Back then, it did not develop at the pace that market did. The organization needed more specialists the posts of which were still not occupied. Moreover, whereas some of the departments were already at the stage of forming, others were stepping on the performance phase. The latter mainly related to the marketing subdivision that had been just formed. It had the actual leader, however, positions of others were not developed yet. The work was usually done by joint efforts, and all tasks were accomplished regardless of the presumed job title. Such a situation eventually led to the burnout of some of the employees who were too active in the performing as well as in the insignificant decrease of the fulfilled assignments.
What have been the main positives of the OD?
Nevertheless, reflecting on that experience, I would like to stress that it was mainly perceived as a drive test for the future team of professionals. The pace at which the company developed was enormous and the expectations regarding my department were quite high. As a result, the firm managed to establish an expert team the core of which still works for the benefit of the company. Moreover, due to the obvious lack of labor force it intuitively identified which professionals were to be employed. Besides, this fast transition stage helped the department to dispose of the non-necessary practices, policies as well as people and to improve its overall operations.
What have been the main negatives of the OD?
On the other hand, I recognize that it was also a period when a lot of the talented professionals were lost in the rush. The company went through the transition and its vision, policies and organizational culture were not created even at the top level, not to mention the one at the department. A lot of the conflicts as well as situations that might have had detrimental effect over the firms profile and reputation could have been averted. The most important in this regard was the inability to send a distinctive message to the world and customers explaining our essence and difference from other brands. Because of these flaws, the company wasted a lot of time and energy that might have been used for other goals, for example, the expansion strategy or strengthening of the sales methodologies.
Reflecting on the insights of Mr. Powers the following conclusions can be made in relation to the stages of organizational development. First of all, not all of the company's departments are at the same level of establishment. On the contrary, many of them experience performing stages whereas the rest finish norming or storming phases. Secondly, during the transition periods the company might loose a lot of professionals due to insufficient communication of changes, inability to adjust organizational culture to the newcomers etc. On the other hand, Powers stressed that while assessing his experience as a manager, he noticed that phases of organizational development actually help the company to remove everything that is not necessary for its progress and evolution. Moreover, each stage passed by the firm proves its professionalism and ability to survive in a highly competitive environment.
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