I would like to move into organisational design/ management development. I
have a Masters in business and two-and-a-half years experience in business
development. Organisational behaviour is what I am interested in. How should I
go about this?
Doug Knott, senior consultant, Chiumento
Your desire to move into organisation design/management development
represents a significant change from your previous career. This could well be
something of a leap in the dark and you should consider further research via networking
before finally deciding to pursue this option. In particular find out what
practitioners in this field actually do to confirm that the potential work
activity holds as much interest for you as your theoretical study of
There is no one single route to moving into this area. You should, however,
seriously consider studying for a CIPD qualification, as this is a
pre-requisite for obtaining this type of role in many organisations.
You should consider moving into an entry-level generalist HR role to give
you a broad appreciation of the people management issues faced by organisations
today. You can then move into your specialist area with a more solid foundation
in HR complemented by your existing experience and Masters qualification.
Johanna Simons, HR consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes
Firstly, you need to ascertain what exactly it is that you would like to do.
Organisational behaviour could be part of a management development programme or
as part of a larger organisational design programme.
Taking your experience into account , I think your best route before
specialising would be a broader organisational development role – giving you a
wider business understanding.
Most OD professionals come into organisations from a consultancy role
usually with line management experience or from a generalist HR background –
your best bet therefore may be to approach both the niche and larger
consultancy firms at an entry level. You could then quickly progress through
the ranks and gain a variety of experience while working with a number of
different clients. If it is still organisational behaviour that really appeals
to you, it would be advantageous to supplement your Masters with a specialist
Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS consultancy
Although you mention your business experience and qualifications, there is
no suggestion that you have any relevant organisation design or management
development experience. So you need to look at both your future qualifications
and the type of role that meets your career expectations.
With regard to qualifications, there are a number of Masters programmes that
major on organisation design and management development. Although you have a
Masters, the learning from a specialist qualification will support your career
aspirations. Another option is to look at taking an organisational psychology
As you have limited specific experience, you need to look for roles in a
larger organisation where there is more scope for personal development. It is
useful to look at job advertisements that indicate a significant management
development content. Alternatively, research some of the larger consultancies
that may have junior consultant roles that meet your needs.