Principles and Practices of Organization Development Program

Columbia Business School

What are the topics?

Columbia Business School


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About the course

The Principles and Practices of Organization Development Program (PPOD) is a highly engaging learning experience that provides participants with core concepts and skills necessary for managing and leading change inside organizations and for consulting to organizations and teams. PPOD offers participants the opportunity to learn foundational theory and build applied skills throughout the course of the two weeklong sessions.

We believe the application of new knowledge and skills in the context of practical experience enhances participant learning and is consistent with current adult development research. As every participant arrives with different needs and preferred ways of learning, we provide a diverse array of learning opportunities (i.e., lecture, case study, practical exercises, and reflection time) geared toward individual development within a community of practice. We intend to create a diverse learning community characterized by openness, collaboration, and commitment to personal and collective development.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • We understand that transforming people and organizations requires complex thinking and multi-faceted skills and we provide an environment to nurture both:
  • We combine psychological and business principles to real-world organizational challenges
  • Our program is rigorous, relevant, and grounded in evidence-based practice
  • We offer an ideal forum for you to imagine, test and crystallize your own OD vision
  • Reflection and self-assessment are built into our design to enhance individual identity development
  • Facilitating a deep understanding of role and mission are embedded into our program
  • Emphasis on individual, team and organizational learning from experienced professionals with decades of experience in consulting, applied research, reflective practice and the use of theoretically grounded frameworks

All participants receive a certificate of completion from Teachers College, Columbia University, where organization development has been taught for over four decades.

Learning Objectives

What We Offer:

Establishing the fundamental values, essential frameworks and effective methods in organization development consulting:

  • Elucidating the dynamics of entry, diagnosis, planning, intervention, and sustainability that occur during organization change efforts
  • Leveraging organizational change models in OD consulting
  • Crafting an evidence-based organizational/team diagnosis
  • Navigating systemic dynamics at the individual, team, and organizational levels
  • Facilitating team dynamics for high performance
  • Utilizing assessments skillfully in OD
  • Embracing real-time learning about self, team and organizational life for transformational change
  • Implementing a feedback-rich environment for continuous learning and growth
  • Leading and managing continuous change in organizations

Participants learn to solidify the relationship between organization development and the strategic business plan and bottom-line results of an organization.

Our Approach:

Weeklong sessions make for an intimate, cohesive learning community with skill-building in all areas of OD consulting and include:

  • Brief didactic inputs on key topics
  • Interactive small and large group work
  • Reflective practice
  • Case analysis
  • Case simulations
  • Live client consultations in real organizations
  • Live-action experiential learning with peer teams
  • Extensive individual and team feedback

Structure and Design

PPOD is structured as two 5-day workshops, separated by 1-2 months. The time in between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2 provides participants with opportunities to apply their learning back at work.

While the entire program addresses multiple levels of analysis, Workshop 1 focuses on individual, interpersonal, and group skills necessary for effective organization change and consultation. Workshop 1 ends with a focus on participants’ leadership challenges and prepares them for application work during the interim period between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2.

Workshop 2 focuses on inter-group, organizational, and inter-organizational levels using organizational assessments and interventions. As participants work together, they continue to experience and learn about their own group development and dynamics. Workshop 2 also includes a focus on leading and managing change.

For Workshop 1, participants are asked to complete pre-work assignments including reading and self-assessments. In addition, each participant is asked to identify a leadership challenge to work on during the course of the program.

In between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2, participants are asked to apply their learning to their leadership challenge and return to Workshop 2 prepared to discuss their successes as well as challenges. Depending on the outcome of their work in the interim, participants are encouraged to engage in further work on their challenge or bring a second challenge to Workshop 2.

Workshop Schedule


Focuses on interpersonal awareness and the skills necessary for effective OD consultation. Participants are asked to learn a particular consulting model using a number of engaging methodologies. First, they practice consulting with each other. Then, they work as a group to prepare for a client interview based on a real case. This work is video taped. The video tape helps participants understand their own behavior in teams, and how teams form. The highlight of the week is the group's work with a real client. This client joins the group for a day and provides feedback to the participants.


Focuses on organizational assessment and intervention using actual case material. Participants move to designing an intervention using actual case material. First, they collect and analyze data. Next, they develop a work group off-site based on their analysis of these data. As participants work on their intervention, they continue to experience and learn about their own group development and dynamics. Many of these skills are immediately transferable to any work setting.


William Pasmore

An international authority in organizational leadership, Bill joined CCL in 2008 in the newly created role of Organizational Practice Leader. He leads CCL’s efforts to help clients develop the larger organizational leadership systems that increase their overall performance and enable their indivi...

Sarah Brazaitis

Sarah Brazaitis (Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University) is an Associate Professor of Practice and the MA Program Director in the Social-Organizational Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She teaches courses on group dynamics and high performing teams to masters- an...

Matthew Tye

Dr. Matthew H. Tye is the Director of Organizational Development and Leadership at the NoVo Foundation, whose mission is to foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership. Prior to this, Matthew spent over 15 years consulting to social ...

Debra A. Noumair

Debra A. Noumair, Professor of Psychology and Education is Founder and Director of the Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership (XMA) and Director of Executive Education Programs in Change and Consultation in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia Univer...

W. Warner Burke

W. Warner Burke is the E. L. Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education, and a founder of the graduate programs in social-organizational psychology, at Teachers College, Columbia University. Originally educated as a social-organizational psychologist (Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin), Dr....

Principles and Practices of Organization Development Program at Columbia Business School

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Full disclaimer.

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