National Training Laboratory Institute

National Training Laboratory Institute

Synopsis

National Training Laboratories Institute (NTL Institute) remains at the forefront of innovation in organisational development and change with the help of Cass Consulting. Through their work with Cass's organisational development expert Professor Cliff Oswick, NTL consultants have moved away from a traditional 'diagnostic' approach towards a more discursive and dialogue-based approach to change.

Background

NTL Institute is a leading US-based learning solutions provider that delivers a range of training and learning programmes for organisations, leaders and practitioners who want to enhance individual, team and organisational effectiveness. 65 years old, NTL is a membership organisation with a faculty of just over 300 individuals. All programmes are designed and delivered by these members who must meet rigid NTL standards. These cover, among other things, academic rigour and consultative experience.

The approach adopted by NTL has been based upon a traditional organisation development model, which is problem-centred and applies a structured, diagnostic approach to organisational improvement and change.


Consultancy

Based upon his expertise in new forms of organisational development, Professor Cliff Oswick was invited to undertake a large-scale group intervention with 110 NTL consultants. This involved challenging them to move from their traditional, diagnostic approaches to organisational change - which tended to focus on what the problem is here and now, and what happened in the past to get to this point - in order to develop a clear solution. He encouraged them to experiment with new approaches that were more discursive, that focused on the future, and that encompassed multiple possible solutions.

In NTL there has now been a shift of emphasis from scientifically-inspired forms of organisational development towards more discursively-oriented interventions, which have now started to gain momentum and traction.

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