What is Organisation Development?

This service embraces a wide range of consultancy tasks, which include: devising responses to changes in the external environment, reviews of structures and project impact evaluations. Organisation development consultancy enables the people and the organisation to achieve their vision and their goals by reviewing, changing and developing:

  • Processes -  for example, decision making, finance, communication.
  • Structures - including roles, relationships and levels of authority.
  • Culture -  "the way we do things round here". 

Working with Sarah on Organisation Development

The hallmarks of Sarah's approach to organisation development consultancy are: 

  • Careful attention to the desired outcomes, the history and context of the organisation and its current ways of working before designing the process. 
  • Analysis of the present situation leading to options for the best order, style and approach for the combination of individual interviews, small group discussion, workshops and away days in the consultancy process. 
  • Communication with integrity with all those involved including the desired outcomes and intended process at the beginning, updates during the work and feedback of the results and the decisions made by senior management / the Board. The opportunity to discuss these may be an option. 

Project leadership and project management fall within the broader scope of organisation development. This includes working to a specification and budget, often with associate consultants, to deliver specified outcomes in a timeframe. This may involve research, for example for a feasibility study, or training, for example how to use a bespoke evaluation framework and writing a final report.

This approach draws from many years' experience in the voluntary and statutory sectors. Sarah has been engaged in organisation development consultancy work with hundreds of organisations undertaking work such as:

  • Directing national training programmes for senior leaders and managers.
  • Developing and supporting implementation of youth policy and youth empowerment projects.
  • Delivering trustee training and governance development.

Impact of Policy Development

Policy guidance and implementation with the National Youth Agency

As Youth Matters Project Coordinator at the National Youth Agency, Sarah Hargreaves advised the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) on their policy for the Youth Opportunity Fund and the Youth Capital Fund. She commissioned the guidance and designed and co-led the regional briefing events with leaders and managers of youth services on implementing the policy. This work contributed to the success of the policy, which was evaluated for the DfES by The National Foundation for Educational Research

Golden, S., Bielby, G., O'Donnell, L., Morris, M., Walker, M. and Maguire, S. (2008). Outcomes of the Youth Opportunity Fund / Youth Capital Fund (DCSF Research Brief 046). London: DCSF.

Key findings that evidence impact of the Youth Opportunity Fund and the Youth Capital Fund

"The Funds approach whereby a panel of young people decide whether applications for the YOF/YCF from other young people should be funded has been a success. Nearly all LAs considered that the young people had done a good job in administering the Funds.

Young people were said to have been increasingly efficient and confident in scrutinising applications. Panel members valued the responsibility andpower that they had, felt listened to and respected and believed that they had been able to make a difference for young people.

The Funds had led to an increase in the number and range of opportunities available for young people and an increase in young people’s participation. To some extent this included participation among young people who did not previously participate in positive activities." (2008:iv)