Help yourself to an ‘Aha’ moment in Organisational Development

Together with SEED/adelphi, Siemens Stiftung developed a toolkit on Organizational Development for social businesses. Why? Because we realized that many social entrepreneurs are challenged by leading a growing team and building up longlasting structures. Kay Eunkyung Kang works for SEED and was part of the epOnsite of the empowering people. Network in Mumbai this year. In the following blogpost she shares her experiences with SEED and her opinions on Organizational Development for eco-inclusive enterprises.

My personal ‘Aha’ Moment at SEED

My exciting journey with SEED started back in February 2016. As soon as I joined the team, I knew I was in for a whole lot of surprises. Before joining SEED, I had worked at a few Korean companies and governmental affiliations as well as international organisations, all of which had already established organisational structures, leaving no space for me to engage in the Organizational Development (OD) of those organizations. Never had I partaken in an organization with flat hierarchies and accelerating growth. At SEED, I was amazed by the wealth of opportunities for the person like me who had just joined the team in an entry-level position — I could actively participate in strategy meetings to align my values with the rest of the team at SEED, co-map SEED’s organizational structure by identifying working domains with my wonderful colleagues, and allocate tasks. This unique environment nurtured me to develop diverse toolsets, and continues to help me grow professionally and personally almost two years into my roles in the SEED Team.

At SEED, I was struck by my ‘Aha’ moment when I realised the power of our unique strategic culture of “shared-leadership”. It taught me a lot since our leadership culture strengthens inter-personal trust, cooperation, and communication for the successful achievement of organizational goals. It also encourages every team member to actively participate in shaping and implementing our organizational goals, thus resulting in feelings of shared ownership of and responsibility for SEED.

Why does Organizational Development matter for eco-inclusive enterprises?

Organizational development plays a vital role not only for the SEED Team but also for eco-inclusive enterprises, especially newly-established ones but even not so new ones. Eco-inclusive enterprises often face the challenge of expanding their markets while building the right organizational backbone to support their growth. Despite innovative ideas and business plans, eco-inclusive enterprises tend to lack the pragmatic and effective tools they need to build the right team, structures, and culture needed for supporting and sustaining their organization.

Organizational Development aims to improve an organization’s capacity to handle its internal and external functions and relationships. However, to apply common textbook-approaches to organizational development often comes at the risk of creating needless bureaucratic burden, reducing flexibility, and hindering innovation, which is a “no-go-approach” for eco-inclusive enterprises. In this regard, SEED and Siemens Stiftung supports eco-inclusive enterprises in their organizational development with just TWO simple steps: (1) Toolifying Organizational Development and (2) applying the toolkit on developing organizations. Find out more on SEED’s blog…

About the author

Kay Eunkyung Kang joined SEED in 2016 and is involved with the coordination and implementation of the SEED Awards and the monitoring and evaluation process of various SEED Support programmes. As Research Analyst at adelphi research, Kay focuses on advocacy for eco-inclusive entrepreneurship.

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