South East Leadership Academy

Organisational Development (OD)

Building OD capacity and capability in the NHS by developing leaders to develop others.

“In the NHS, the purpose of OD is to improve the quality and safety of patient care and we describe OD as enabling people to transform systems. OD is a field of practice where behavioural science is applied to organisational and system issues in order to align strategy and capability. OD enhances the effectiveness of systems through the provision of interventions that build capacity and capability to achieve our collective goals. OD improves the performance and health of systems by amplifying the humanity in our organisations, enabling people to flourish, thrive and have meaning in their work.” Do OD (delivered by NHS Employers in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy)

These pages offer a range of resources and information to support OD practitioners and organisations, including national and regional resources. There is already some fantastic OD happening in our region and we want to publicise and share this learning as well as from the range of national resources.

OD in the South East

OD empowers leaders to transform organisations and systems to make the systems we use better for the people using it. Many of the South East Leadership Academy’s interventions, such as leadership development, talent management, coaching, improvement and more, are encircled by OD, and the majority of internal development capacity available to NHS organisations includes people whose role encompasses OD practice. 

In the ongoing context of public sector change and transition we recognise that OD practitioner skills and leadership have never been as important as now. Those working in OD and transformational roles need to be at the forefront of system and service transformation, enabling the right conditions to deliver the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan and the People Plan. 

We have a long history of supporting and developing OD capability by supporting leaders, OD and HR colleagues to meet the demands of organisational and system level change and transformation. This began with the development of our popular OD toolkit, a framework for OD practitioner development, and more recently our work supporting the OD talent pipeline has helped South East practitioners to claim competence, recognising their skills and knowledge at a system level.

South East OD Network

We are looking to make contact with the right people within your organisation to help us co-design a South East Leadership and OD innovation network which will build on the foundations of the previous Kent, Surrey & Sussex and Thames Valley & Wessex Leadership Academy networks, focused on the current perspectives and challenges facing practitioners in the NHS in 2022. As an Academy we aspire to co-design our offers for the South East region around the leadership development needs within our Integrated Care Systems and organisations. This network will play a pivotal role as part of this co-design work and will provide an opportunity to share learning, best practice and ideas from across the region.

Feedback we have received from OD leads has indicated a need and ask for a region-wide community to be created – there are huge opportunities for us all to help each other with our leadership and workforce challenges, sharing what is making an impact and speeding up scaling of great work. We know that leadership and OD leads meet within an ICS footprint (although in some areas this is being refreshed due to a pause resulting from Covid) however the ask from colleagues is for a network that connects colleagues beyond their own ICS so that there is a larger potential community to learn from.

With that in mind, we invite you to join us for a discussion to create a regional professional network for Leadership, OD and EDI practitioners within Health and Social Care – a starting point in co-designing a regular gathering of like-minded and similarly driven individuals who collectively can mutually support and move forwards together.

Over the coming months we will host a number of Engagement and Listening sessions which are open to you and your E,D and I colleagues to join, find out a bit more about our aspirations for a regional network and share your thoughts and ideas on how this network could add value and make a difference to you professionally within your role. Please join us at one of the following events to get involved in this discussion, please book your space by clicking on a date:

17th May 2022 – 12.30 – 1.30pm

1st June 2022 – 12.30 – 1.30pm

14th June 2022 – 12.30 – 1.30pm

South East Leadership Academy OD Innovation Network – First Session

20th July 2022 – 1.30 – 4.30pm


What questions do you have about OD? Are you new to OD and what to find out more?

Let us know your questions and we will respond and build our FAQ’s.