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Jamaica is Ramping Up Organizational Developments

 Jamaica is Ramping Up Organizational Developments


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Organizational development (OD) is a systematic human response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. By definition- “OD is a critical science-based process that helps organizations build their capacity to change and achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures, and processes.” It goes even further as OD also develops individuals and communities.

The world as we knew it but a short while ago, has not only changed but continues to do so at a fast rate. Change has many drivers, principal among them being technology, globalization, real-time communication, automation, SARS COVID 2, and science. So rapidly has change occurred, that the concept of normality has also changed and rapidly segued into what is called the “new normal.” ie, new and different ways of doing things and also doing some things differently.


All developments on this planet have emanated from human thought processes and actions. It follows therefore that to overcome the present challenges, human beings need to be engaged, enabled, and empowered to cope, survive and thrive in a new and different normal. A novel and different set of strategies, plans, actions, and innovations need to be implemented.

This imperative was uniquely grasped by Mrs. Ilsa Duverney Chair and CEO of the Caribbean Centre for Organisation Development Excellence Limited (CARI-CODE) and her team, who partnered with the Open Campus of the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica led by Dr. Jeanette Bartley Bryan and her team, to develop a cadre of Jamaicans with the requisite OD competencies to help navigate challenges of the new normal.

On June 2nd, 2021 at 5:30 pm the Commencement Ceremony of the 2021 cohort of twenty-six (26) OD graduands of CARI-CODE and the UTech Jam. Professional Certificate in Organisation Development (PCOD), posited to be the first such program of its kind, originating in the region, connected virtually along with significant persons in the global OD environment 

In her address of welcome Mrs. Duverney stated that the Programme specifically factored in lean processes and innovation as essential elements of transformation and development. She posited that OD certification was pivotal in human capacity development in this new normal of digitizations, artificial intelligence, and robotics. In this fast-changing milieu, she stated, “We develop people!” 

Innovative solutions emanate from people and OD prepares people to collaborate in designing and creating such solutions. In this regard understanding, context, and our history are critical in transitioning to the desired future we are seeking to create. Against this scenario, people need to be prepared to navigate the new Eco-system.

Certification strives to future-proof organizations by enabling employees to develop agility, integrity,  and OD Acuity (a term she said was now “coined” by CARI-CODE  to mean emotional intelligence, sensitivity, and sharpness of vision. These will help organizations thrive during systemic changes to the business landscape. She extended congratulations to the graduands.

Dr. Jeannette Bartley Bryan Associate Vice President, Open and Distant Learning at UTECH Jamaica explained the structure of the partnership between the University and CARI-CODE stating that it was a public-private partnership (PPP) forged through a 2019 academic agreement in which CARI-CODE has ownership of the course while UTech Jam. ensures that course content meets academic quality assurance and content delivery standards. Dr. Bartley-Bryan posited that the partnership was a “win-win-win” situation for all parties and allowed for the expansion of professional short courses accessible for increasing knowledge, competencies, and employment in the workforce and ultimately engenders national development. She congratulated the cohort on their achievement. 

She further reiterated that credits earned from the PCOD and similar programs are transferable to similar courses of study at the University. In the PCOD course participants who complete the program are awarded joint certification by UTech Jamaica and the Caribbean Centre for Organisation Development Excellence Limited.

This brings us to the question of what is the role of OD in the new normal? It stands to reason that change will require discovering new requirements and finding and developing solutions through the collaborative efforts of cross-functional semi-autonomous teams. This calls for a “whole systems approach” in which everyone involved is given a voice at the table. How will they be received?

This was addressed by Dr. Haldane Johnson Acting Deputy President of UTECH Ja. who offered sage advice and gems of wisdom to the graduands and the entire assembly. He reiterated the impact of technology on society and stated the need for flexibility using OD methodologies. Coordinating complex Organisation goals will prove extremely difficult and diverse.

Change envisages transformation and progress. Change can be for the better or worse. There can be inertia to change. Expect resistance he stated. Your ideas may make some uncomfortable. He quoted Lee Iacocca former president of Chrysler Corporation ” Lead, follow or get out the way.” Words he described as harsh but part of the real world of work.

Talented workers do not often get support. Good ideas can get derailed and the inclination is to get dismayed. Do not give up. Be strategic and execute new initiatives strategically. Never go it alone. Find a godfather within the organization who will give support and sponsorship to see the successful completion of the venture.

Referencing the Global Competency Framework Dr. Johnson noted that it spoke to new skills that would be needed in the desired future such as Systems Change Expert, Cross-Cultural Navigator, Process Consultant, Collaborative Communicator, Credible Influencer, Innovator, and Change Leader. These represent some of the skill sets that the OD practitioners will need to infuse in organizations going forward.

People have innate skills that may not be apparent at first. Seek them out and hone them. Do not abandon those people because they may be hesitant at first. Be experiential and data-driven. Seek ways to bring them on board. He proposed that a learning organization should be established and reminded the cohort of the old Chinese proverb “People do not do what you expect, they do what you inspect.

Dr. Johnson urged graduands to be committed to becoming examples to others and make a positive impact as OD practitioners. In keeping with OD’s Valued based approach, he urged graduands to adopt UTech Jamaica’s core values namely:- Respect: Accountability: Integrity: Service: Innovation: Team Spirit (inclusive of participation and collaboration). For ease of reference, the professor condensed these values into an acronym-RAISE IT.

Dr. Johnson was followed by Mrs. Petra-Ann Williamson Director of Human Resources and Administration at Cari-Med Ltd. who delivered the valedictorian address on behalf of the cohort. She recalled the start of the course at which point some participants were somewhat uncertain if not mystified but as time progressed grew in confidence and saw the relevance of the program in today’s world.

The valedictorian shared that she wanted to do the course to better prepare herself for a restructuring exercise at her company and lauded the PCOD as a ” short but powerful educational experience.” She found modules of the course such as “Use of Self”, The Ladder of Inference, Lean thinking, Problem-solving, Team dynamics, and Appreciative inquiry useful tools to aid her in charting a path to transformation.

Continuing she thanked CARI-CODE, UTech Jam. and their respective teams for how the modules were delivered and named facilitators -both local and overseas,- administrators and technical staff for the work they did and proffered the hope that her fellow graduands would strive assiduously to achieve change and transformation for self, their organization, the nation, and the world.

A vote of thanks was moved by Mrs. Lorna McDonald, Snr Consultant, and facilitator, CARI-CODE In a surprise turn of events not memorialized on the program, Mrs. McDonald was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Mrs. Duverney in recognition of her tremendous contribution in transforming the course into a virtual event. Mrs. McDonald responded appropriately.

The cohort and guests were reminded that to foster professional development, inform of new developments, and dissipate knowledge, there is a professional OD Network, namely the Caribbean Organisation Development Network (CODN), which they were invited to join. Those wishing to do so should contact caricode@cwjamaica.com or Ms. Tausa Swaby at tswaby7@gmail.com 

The function was moderated by Mr. Colin Davis, Director of Professional Studies at UTech Jamaica, and a preparatory team member for the academic agreement who kept proceedings moving at a lively pace.  Certificates were presented virtually and graduands were announced by Dr. Bartley-Bryan, Mrs. Ilsa Duverney, and Mr. Audley Vaughan, Snr Consultant/Facilitator, CARI-CODE.

The evening ended in a celebratory mood.

Contributor: Audley Vaughan – audleyvaughan@yahoo.com

Audley Vaughan- Certified Organisation Development/ Management Consultant, CARI- CODE Facilitator.

The recent event was the Commencement Ceremony for the Professional  Certificate in Organisation Development which is a post-graduate program offered by the Caribbean Centre for Organisation Development Excellence Ltd (CARI-CODE ) for the past decade. This very interactive, values-based program prepares participants from both the public and private sectors to make interventions for change and transformation as well as to improve productivity. The focus is on whole system change at all levels: individual, organizational and national. 

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