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Practicing Organization Development: Leading Transformation and Change, 4th Edition by Roland L. Sullivan, Jacqueline M. Stavros, William J. Rothwell

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Chapter ThirteenClosure

Mobilizing Energy to Sustain an Agile Organization

Ann M. Van Eron and W. Warner Burke

The last phase in the organization development (OD) consulting process is closure. This final phase is important for reaping and sustaining the benefits of an OD intervention. It needs to be conducted in a careful, planned manner. Few consultants or researchers choose to write or speak about this phase of the OD process (Anderson 2015; Block 2011). Given the rapid pace and complexity of change today, when leaders and organizations are faced with multiple challenges and the need to be innovative and responsive to demanding external pressures, the benefit of attending to closure is magnified.

Closure can be a valuable way to mobilize energy for agility and sustainability. Inadequate closure can limit the impact and learning of a successful OD intervention. More than simply separating from the OD process, there are benefits in a thoughtful and present attention to closure throughout an OD intervention. By stopping and reflecting, meaning can be made that will support future initiatives and enhance organization agility and growth.

We begin this chapter with a case example where closure was not successful and some related reasons for endings of OD projects. Then, we highlight the need to mobilize energy through closure. We suggest the value of attending to closing throughout the OD intervention to increase learning, agility, and sustainability. We also provide questions ...

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