The topic of crises is no stranger to me. As globalization increases, industrial capitalism continues unchecked, the population of the planet surges, and as climate change worsens, it is not a coincidence that the world is experiencing more and more problems that uproot the lives of millions of people. There are many ways in which I believe organization development can both help organizations to be more sustainable in their practices as well as help them “weather-proof” themselves against the destabilizing future. As the world continues to burn fossil fuels, the push for ecological sustainability will become greater as the years roll by. Organizational development practitioners are going to be in large part responsible for initiating and implementing these changes that organizations need to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, switching the paper used in an office space from freshly cut down trees to recycled paper is a good first step organization development practitioners can oversee. Businesses will also struggle in the future as economic conditions worsen and resource depletion becomes a major issue. Organizational development will be at the forefront of making the changes needed to allow entire industries to survive as the age of unlimited consumption comes to a close.
The world saw one of the most visible effects of our destabilizing global society these last few years through the Covid-19 Pandemic. I personally know of several businesses that went bankrupt including the locally-owned gym I went to when Gov. Abbott ordered nonessential services to close and gave them insufficient aid. Organization development had a major task in overseeing the shift to the online workspace as well as implementing new organizational practices when in-person work resumed. The importance of organizational development in keeping businesses running in the face of the ever-changing global landscape cannot be overstated. As human resource practitioners, it will be our job to balance taking care of employees and the organization to keep them safe in the face of the growing crises that plague our world including actual plagues, economic insecurity, and ecological destruction that is occurring. The field of organization development has a good outlook in the future due to its growing importance in maintaining stability in the face of instability.