Understanding the Difference between HR and Organizational Development

Any time you strive to transform and improve upon an existing business or organization, there are three key areas that should be examined, evaluated and optimized to achieve the most powerful and lasting results: people, technology and processes.

People: The field of Human Resources (HR) is dedicated to managing and optimizing the performance of employees, people and personnel.
Technology: The Information Technology (IT) function focuses on optimizing the performance of technology assets like networks, email and other systems.
Processes: Who focuses on optimizing processes? Who examines and evaluates a company’s procedures or an organization’s workflows to ensure they are productive? Who performs a strategic analysis of the entire enterprise from the top down, assessing all systems and processes for efficiency?

In most companies and organizations, the function of critically assessing processes, policies and procedures gets overlooked entirely, or else diluted by being spread across too many departments tasked with other core missions that take up all of their available time.

For example, Human Resources officers contribute to processes, policies and procedures, but they may not have an eagle eye view of the complete organization, so they cannot evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s systems.

Information Technology personnel contribute processes, policies and procedures to the organization also, but they focus on managing tangible and physical assets like computing equipment, not managing workflows or reducing procedural bottlenecks.

Company/organizational leadership is often nominally tasked with the oversight of enterprise-level processes; however, these senior level executives rarely have enough time available to dive deep enough into the workings of their enterprises to effect real change.

Because so many businesses and organizations lack the available capacity, time or know-how to perform systematic evaluations of their internal processes and procedures, Organizational Development and business process transformation consultancies like Ankor Strategies exist to fill this critical gap.

Organizational Development consultants assist executive management teams with examining, evaluating and optimizing processes, systems and operations in a way Human Resources professionals and Information Technology architects cannot. Although there is a critical role to be played in every organization by both HR and IT personnel, when it comes to business process analysis and transformation, that function is the domain of Organizational Development specialists.

Imagine the organization as a pie. One slice is the IT department. Another slice is the HR department. A third slice represents executive management, and so forth. For an enterprise to function properly, all of the slices of the pie must be present for there to be a cohesive whole. But what if the slices need to be shuffled or re-sequenced? What if one slice of the organizational pie is not performing at optimal capacity? An Organizational Development specialist is like a baker who examines the entire pie, not just one or two slices in isolation, and provides recommendations on how these different elements should interoperate in the most efficient and productive manner to improve the organization. Every organizational pie needs such a baker from time to time to ensure the organization is performing at its best.

Although the Organizational Development strategist is not a part of the internal workings of the enterprise per se, this distance is actually a positive because it enables the strategist to assess the organization and complete the Audit in an impartial manner, observing what works and what doesn’t. This allows the strategist to provide honest recommendations to benefit the enterprise, suggestions and improvements that are not colored by internal office politics or tainted by personal biases.

When you sense your business or your organization requires a thorough, systematic assessment to determine if it is as efficient or as productive as it can be, reach out to Ankor Strategies to provide you with a business process audit that focuses on optimization of your systems, processes and operations. We can provide you with the impartial eagle eye view that is necessary to pinpoint real opportunities for improvement and transformation.