Workshop Abstract

Building In-House Organization Development Capacity in the Faculty of Health Sciences


Sean Park, Teresa Chan, Ruth Chen, & Jennifer Nash.

Presenting on behalf of: Kathryn Denney.


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

The Context

Organizations commonly hire external consultants to provide strategic planning, problem-solving, and facilitation services. While trusted brands provide good insight and direction, these services are costly. More troubling is that the implementation of plans is often not well supported as external consultants do not hold the responsibility or leadership to put ideas into action.  In a time of budget constraints, a long list of opportunities for doing things better that needs to be tackled, and untapped creative potential within FHS, a more local, financially sustainable and nimble way of providing the above services is required.

The Development Idea:

There is considerable talent and potential in the FHS to develop in-house capabilities in strategic planning, design thinking, needs assessments, reviews, and facilitation for a fraction of the cost.  Led by FHS faculty with deep experience in these areas, this consultancy could leverage faculty and staff from across FHS as trusted collaborators in sourcing, framing, exploring and implementing new ideas with service packages that fit the budget and scope of a unit or department.  A consultancy that has intimate knowledge of the organization, strong networks, and implementation know-how could lend itself to more projects moving more visions and ideas into reality.  These projects also represent learning opportunities for those who want to expand their abilities as consultants.

The Problem:

We have some initial projects underway to demonstrate the potential value, but we need to know more about where and how an in-house consultancy might be of benefit to units and departments across FHS.  We would like to know:

1. How are departments and units currently making use of external consultants?

2. What challenges do faculty think could be addressed differently or better through an in-house service? 

3. In recognizing that external consultants surely provide value in ways that a local initiative never can, where does it make sense to spend limited resources more wisely? 

4.   What skills, training and experience do people/teams within FHS currently possess that they may be able to contribute/share across units/departments?

5. What level of interest do faculty have in developing their capabilities in organizational development as continuing professional development activity?