March Breakfast Event

March Event Review: OD Competencies and Capabilities – Developing OD Practitioners for the Future

We were delighted to have Matt Minahan Ed.D give an excellent and informative presentation at our inaugural ODA breakfast event held in March. Speaking to us via Zoom from the States, Matt generously shared his expertise and insights relating to the development of the Global OD Competency Framework. It was developed in 2016 to guide OD practitioners’ development and provide a level of consistency and rigour to how OD practitioners practice their craft across the globe. Matt led the OD Competency Model work for the OD Network in the States.


As Matt explained, “The purpose of the Framework™ is to provide a research-based competency model to the field, about the field, from the field. By scanning the literature, building this from the bottom up, and including voices and views from around the world, we intentionally used as inclusive a meth­odology as we could. We shared draft after iterative draft with friends, colleagues, board members, OD academic program directors, students and faculty in OD Edu­cation Association schools, leaders of other OD organizations, and then took turns writing and re-writing.”


Now that a solid, research-based competency model for the field of OD has been established, the Network intends it to be used for Career Development, Professional Standards and a Common Language to define the work of the OD profession, which helps answer the ques­tion “What is OD?”


There are three levels of detail to the Framework™. On the outer ring, there are five different OD Competencies, each of which has three specialty areas, further defined by 5 key behaviours.

  1. Systems Change Expert made up of: a. Systems Change Leader, b. Culture Builder, c. Innovator;
  2. Efficient Designer made up of: a. Efficient Designer, b. Process Consultant, c. Data Synthesizer;
  3. Business Advisor made up of: a. Strategic Catalyst, b. Results-Oriented Leader, c. Trusted Advisor;
  4. Credible Strategist made up of: a. Credible Influencer, b. Collaborative Communicator, c. Globally Diverse Integrator;
  5. Informed Consultant made up of: a. Exemplary Consultant, b. Emotionally Intelligent Leader.


The Global Competency Model is now used as the foundation for OD education programs around the globe. The self-assessment is developmental and provides an accessible and realistic assessment to members who want guidance about how well they measure up to others in the field, and what kinds of skills they need to develop professionally. They are using the model to determine which jobs they are qualified for.


Through Matt’s presentation, we worked in small groups within breakout rooms to reflect and review our own perceived competence (and confidence) relating to each of these areas within the model. This provoked wide-ranging discussion and some of us felt a lack of experience/expertise when assessing ourselves against all these criteria! OD is a big role and these competencies articulate the depth and breadth of our field of endeavour.


We agreed this Competency Framework provides a fantastic and aspirational Model that can guide us to develop our skills to value-add in a deep and meaningful way in our work within organisations, whether in the role of external or internal consultant. Very importantly, it gives us as OD practitioners a rich language to express ourselves.


Further information can be found at