In this article, we will share our insights about the fastest emerging trend in organizational development in 2023. In our 2022 article of the same title, we predicted that “the use of mobile technology, social media, online learning and flexible or adaptive learning principles“ would define the future of Organization Development (OD).
But, not in the way that you think.
All of these are connectors to what is at the heart of OD’s future and that is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI is changing the way that human beings live. At the core of that is how we will continue to learn and experience the world of work.
What Is The Fastest Emerging Trend In Organization Development In 2023?
The fastest emerging trend in Organization Development in 2023 is how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will define the way that we learn, socialize and function in the workplace. AI platforms like Microsoft’s OpenAI are making it easier for people across the globe to benefit from artificial general intelligence. In doing so, they are removing manual and redundant tasks, placing learning and information at everyone’s fingertips and redefining experiences in the work environment.
AI is enabling change on steroids!
The issue of access to information and learning to facilitate and enable change – individually and organizationally – is a thing of the past. Anyone who uses that to hold on to redundant behaviours, systems and processes is holding on to excuses.
Change is happening faster than the speed of lightning. With this pace of change, work (and what we conceptualize it to be) is also changing and redefining our lives, relationships, communication and social behaviours.
There has never been a more engaging time for Organizational Development (OD) than now.
Some Popular OD Trends In 2022
Before we go on, let’s look at the most popular OD trends from last year.
Here are my top 10.
1. Virtual, remote and hybrid work.
2. Employee well-being and mental health.
3. Employee Engagement and empowerment.
4. Agile Methodologies such as Scrum.
5. Building resilience.
6. Congruence with values and Organizational Culture.
7. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging initiatives.
8. Artificial Intelligence and automation.
9. Use of data for decision-making.
10. Continuous Improvement.
There is a common theme, along two (2) threads.
The first is that technology continues to transform the way that we work and what we do at work. The second is profoundly impacted by this.
Employee well-being, (especially mental health), and engagement occupy second and third places, respectively. And with good reason.
As work and the work environment change, greater (dis/ or eu/) stress will be placed on employees to keep up
RELATED TOPIC >>>> How Long Does It Take To Recover From Emotional Burnout?
The Fastest Emerging Trend In OD In 2023
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming the fastest-emerging trend in OD in 2023.
It is also accelerating the pace at which work and change happen.
Think about it.
If you are able to automate the routine tasks in your day-to-day work, it would allow you to have more time to focus on more complex, demanding and creative tasks and situations. The things that are difficult for technology and machines to recreate.+
For example, the emotive and behavioural aspects of organisational life.
Many people in organisations hide behind administrative tasks. The Human Resources (HR) Department is a classic example of that.
Automating employee letters, tracking, time and attendance, etc. will allow you way more time to leave your desk and put your relationship and communication skills to work where they can make a more meaningful difference.
AI Positively Supports Change Management
The primary purpose of Organizational Development is to help organisations become more agile and adaptive to change.
We live in highly volatile and unpredictable times when change seems to be happening faster than the speed of light and sound. Human beings, (and by extension organisations), are struggling to keep up and to survive.
By using AI, we can automate routine tasks and have more time and energy to invest our involvement in making change happen efficiently and effectively.
An important aspect of this would be our own (re)training and development to ensure that we have the necessary skills and resources to cope with the pace and intensity of change.
Too often, OD and change initiatives focus on the results rather than the people who are leading and performing.
This leads to (dis)stress, conflicts and eventually, burnout.
Communication and relationships tend to suffer and be hurt most by the lack of emotional intelligence. Passive and aggressive behaviours tend to overshadow OD initiatives and minimize the stage area for assertiveness and authenticity.
AI can definitely help us regroup, reorganise and reposition our attention.
AI Can Improve Employee Engagement
It should now be easier for you to understand how AI can allow you to have more time at your disposal and provide you with more opportunities for human interaction.
Employee engagement is one of those important OD functions that can benefit in a very meaningful way.
Some aspects of Employee Engagement can be automated such as newsletters and articles such as this one. You can invite members of your organisation to write on different topics, for example, and schedule their publication with ease.
Then, for even deeper and more effective engagement, you can invite employees to share feedback or join you for breakfast or lunch to discuss. With the mundane tasks being taken care of, you can involve your whole self in the human side of the engagement.
Those simple activities will go a long way in helping your employees feel included and appreciated and strengthen their belonging.
In essence, the more routine and less emotive aspects of functions can be automated leaving more meaningful opportunities for strengthening behaviours and relationships.
ADDITIONAL READING >>>> What Is The Most Important First Step In Improving Diversity And Inclusion?
AI Is Improving Customer Service
Automating customer service, as the snapshot below shows, becomes “a breeze” with AI.
If customers are calling your company for information on your products and services or place orders, automating this part of the process can save you time and money. This is especially true when your resources, (time, money and people), are limited.
It also provides an effective way to keep track of what is working well and what is not; what needs to be improved or removed and what needs to be expanded or done more.
Externally, Chatbots can help you complete a range of tasks from answering common queries to making sales and reducing cart abandonment.
For your internal customers, think about how effective it would be for HR to introduce a ChatBot to answer common questions such as, “How many days of vacation am I entitled to?” or, “What is our company’s policy on Work From Home?“
Or Finance using their ChatBot to answer general payroll questions such as “When will my salary reach my bank account?“
The potential to improve employee engagement and communication is limited only by your imagination.
Some Of My Closing Thoughts . . .
I started working with technology in the early 1980s – 1983 to be exact. Forty (40) years ago. A lot has changed during that time.
In my opinion, most of it has been for the better.
Over the years, as my roles and careers changed, I continued to implement technological improvements when and wherever I could.
Call me lazy but it just seemed to make sense to automate what I could and move on to learn new things and become more efficient and effective.
There are those who live in fear of things like job displacement and elimination because of AI. To you I say, look at the glass half full and use it as an opportunity to rethink, retrain and reposition yourself for better experiences.
You own the power to Change Your Script!
A Little About The Author
Hi! I am Cassandra, the Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer at LaMP International Limited.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this article. I trust that you have enjoyed reading it and that it helped you to better understand AI’s role as the fastest-emerging trend in OD in 2023.
I have been working within the OD space for over twenty (20) years. It continues to serve me well in my roles as a mother, sibling, partner, facilitator, coach, strategist, change agent and entrepreneur.
Change is a way of life – a passion, so to speak, for me. For almost 40 years, I have been working around the world with thousands of people, in different cultures, helping them to rethink and redesign their behaviours, structures and organisations.
My work has impacted industries such as Energy, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Media, Distribution and Management Consulting in roles that took me from a staff position all the way to the E and C suites.
I love working with people and organisations and helping them become more effective, successful and sustainable.
Reach out to me if I can assist you in any way and help you to Change Your Script!