9As Model for Organizational Development

Panu Chaopricha, Ph.D.
e-mail : panu@post.harvard.edu Ever wonder what should be considered when it comes to organizational development? There are several theories to which you can refer. However, I focus on three simple dimensions to understand any organization before making any moves. First, you need to realize the balance between ADEQUACY and ASPIRATION. Some organization finds being adequate in organization development just suffices to thrive. Cannot think of an example? Recently I went to deposit a check at one of the top banks in Thailand. Guess how many deposit slip I was required to write. Two. There were not even carbon paper around service counters. Does it provide the best services? Absolutely “not”. Does it posses larger clientele base than most of other banks do? I'm afraid “yes”. How do I conclude from this only evidence that this bank cares less about organizational development? I have talked to several of its top executives (by top I mean “TOP') and many of its key customers. This evidence indicates that sometimes, organization located on any different point of the ADEQUACY-ASPIRATION continuum does not guarantee success or failure. It just suggests how far do they want to go and how much work needs to be done.

For second and third dimensions, I classify six aspects for development into human and management categories. ATTITUTE, ABILITY and APPROACH for human development and APPLICATION, ALIGNMENT and ADVANTAGE for organizational management. For human development, the most difficult to change but most critical to success is ATTITUDE. People need to have ABILITY to accomplish tasks. But without right ATTITUDE, you can expect that things could go wrong. APPROACH brings ABILITY into action. People need right APPROACH to make things happen. Think of elements in communication, you need not only right message but also right approach to communicate effectively. Thus, APPROACH can mean both speed & style. As for organization, ADVANTAGE plays vital role in competition. To achieve advantage, a company needs to do various kinds of analysis (i.e. industry/competitive/customer/supplier/SWOT,

you name it!) in order to formulate strategy that brings out or leverage its advantages. In several cases, company needs APPLICATION of management tools, information technology, international standards to help them achieve advantages. However, many fail to realize the full benefit of those tools, technology, standards because they lack ALIGNMENT. There might be conflicting target/role/incentive within company, along value chain or supply chain. For example, an organization aiming at promoting innovation does not change its rigid work procedure to accommodate creativity. Then, there is no process to nurture new ideas. Thus, APPLICATION without proper ALIGNMENT rarely bares fruit. Wait!!! Would executives always keep these aspects in mind? I'm afraid not. But how they manage to develop their organizations without this framework. This comes to the the basic instinct or “guts”. Let me replace the word with a more academic term. I propose BUSINESS ACUMEN, which is “an ability to make profitable decisions based on knowledge, skills and experience ”. With BUSINESS ACUMEN governing all the decisions made, together with other A's proposed in this model, I encourage readers to refer to this model as often as they want. From my experience, there is not once that I couldn't use this model to identify and prioritize areas of organizational development. Good luck with your development journey!
Panu Chaopricha, Ph.D. is a managing director at Business Acumen Co., Ltd., a management consulting firm specialized in creating/sustaining competitive advantages, driving organization performance and leadership development. Company website : www.businessacumen.co.th