The best bread has yeast. I’m not talking about banana bread, which is just cake, if we’re being honest. Nor do I mean flatbread, which makes excellent pizza, but can’t we just call it “crust”? I’m thinking about good, old-fashioned, dinner bread. Without yeast, bread is dense, flat, and crumbly. Yeast, however, allows bread to rise to its full, fluffy, cohesive potential.
Now if we think of businesses as bread, then Organizational Development (OD) is the yeast. If you’ve never heard of OD, here’s a summary: it’s a field directed at interventions in the processes of human systems in order to increase their effectiveness.
OD experts expanding the knowledge and effectiveness of people to accomplish more successful organizational change and performance. They continuously evaluate and diagnose areas of inefficiency and then plan and implement solutions.
Here are a few reasons to think about becoming “yeast” by getting a Masters of Science in Management and Organizational Development:
Honey wheat, sourdough, French baguette - so many breads need yeast. Similarly, all kind of business and organizations in the private and the public sector hire those with expertise in OD. Department stores, marketing firms, banks, non-profits, school systems- they all need top-level workers in human resources or employee development.
You could be a corporate trainer or a motivational speaker. You could work in higher education, developing college-level programs or even teaching certain courses in leadership and collaboration. You could stay in your current field and promote or transfer to almost any other area that interests you. The world is your oyster.
If you have diverse interests and you’re reluctant to tie yourself down to studying only one, this degree is perfect for you. It combines business and finance skills with behavioral sciences like psychology, sociology, and economics. This intellectually stimulating degree involves a variety of ingredients and requires you to knead them together and build bridges between them.
The working world of today is different from the working world of 1999. Heck, it’s even different from the working world of 5 years ago! There are plenty of companies, non-profits, and educational institutions that need a few updates. But change is sometimes hard to implement. Some “doughs” are tougher than others. Do you think you can successfully implement change? Consider a degree in Management and OD!
One function of yeast is to metabolize simple sugars, or get them moving. Another is to develop the gluten network, that is, make the bread strong, springy, and cohesive. At the core of Organizational Development is an understanding of people and how they act.
You’ll be focusing on things like good communication skills, human motivation, group dynamics, conflict resolution, and adult learning styles. If you like to get people moving (metabolize them) and unite them into a strong, cooperative team (develop their network), this field is a good fit for you.
Whether you’re an OD consultant contracted by an organization or you’re developing from the inside, you’ll get to come up with creative solutions to promote efficiency and organizational change. One last function of yeast is breaking down big molecules into more flavorful compounds- in other words, making bread tasty!
As an Organizational Developer, you get to break down human systems into their different parts and make each group or individual function at their best. You draw out every person’s “flavor” and then draw them together so that the whole organization is more than the sum of its parts.
So why not get a degree in OD? Go to your local bakery and munch on some fresh challah while you think about it.