Organizational Development

What is Organizational Development?

Organizational development is a process of planned efforts to manage change as means of enhancing the organization’s effectiveness. Organizational development starts with an assessment of the organization and an establishment of its current and desired future states. The clarification of the desired future states in turn leads to the definition of new strategies. Organizational development then concludes with the identification and putting in place of the process, the structures, systems, procedures and leadership that are needed to support new strategies. In other words, OD is about organizations understanding themselves relative to their environment, clarifying their future plans and developing the necessary capacities to achieve their objectives. For at the heart of ministry effectiveness is an organization that is opportunity driven and responsive to its socioeconomic environment.


Between 2001 and 2004 the clarification and definition of the mission, core values, and vision of the Navigators, collectively referred to as the Core, took place. This process took place within the Navigators worldwide. As the Core was fleshed out on the continent, it became increasingly clear that the Africa Navigators would need to have a holistic orientation in order to be more effective in the light of the socioeconomic challenges faced by the ministry. Besides the question of structures, systems, procedures and leadership that will support new strategies, the Africa Navigators also needed to address the need for a learning culture and the funding challenge.


The study followed a participatory approach. An external and a internal consultant travelled around the continent interviewing leaders at different levels using questionnaires and focus groups. After the Africa Regional team and the external consultant first determined the scope of the process. The Africa regional director and zonal leaders, working in consultation with an internal consultant then carried out data collection. The main data collection instruments were questionnaires, focus group discussions and document review. The final process, currently ongoing at the level of the leadership team, is the review of the results, the formulation of conclusions and recommendations.

Five key outcomes include:

  • An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the Africa Navigators
  • The practicability of the Core from an insider’s perspective.
  • A review of the management structures and processes
  • The nature of internal and external organizational relationships
  • An understanding of the organization’s culture, and how this affects the implementation of the Core.

The compilation of the final report is ongoing.