Certificate programme orientation

Human Interaction Laboratory

This module begins with an orientation session enabling participants to connect with cohort colleagues and to learn more about the programme objectives, content, and approach to learning. 

Following the orientation is the Human Interaction Laboratory (the NTL T-group), which is an intensive small-group experience that leads to increased self-awareness and understanding of interpersonal and group dynamics through giving and receiving feedback – critical competencies for OD practitioners. 

Participants will:

  • increase self-awareness, interpersonal and group sensitivity

  • understand “use of self” and the impact of one’s behaviour on others

  • improve communication skills and practice feedback

  • pay attention to issues of differences and valuing diversity as a norm and advantage

  • prepare to take personal responsibility for their learning within a cohort Community of Practice



This module focuses on current theory and practice in OD and particularly on three core areas – (1) the theoretical roots of OD, (2) action research through the simple but complex application of the OD Consultancy Cycle, and (3) use of self as instrument and personal presence.  These are essentials of the field of OD.

Participants will:

  • Learn about the history and evolution of the field of OD

  • Understand the underlying principles and values that are fundamental to the practice of OD

  • Explore distinctions between diagnostic and dialogic OD

  • Explore the OD cycle – use of this and its impact on practice

  • Explore how various theories inform the way we understand organisations and monitor various levels of a system simultaneously

  • Identify the skills development required to be an effective OD practitioner


Group Dynamics, Theories and Process Consultation

This module helps participants develop skills in intervening in on-going group processes. It covers various theoretical and conceptual group models and group process consultation. Additional areas of focus include understanding the life cycle of groups and group dynamics. Emphasis continues on use-of-self and personal presence.

Participants will:

  • look at “group” as a distinct social phenomenon and level of system with its own characteristics, properties, and developmental process

  • understand the significance of groups to organisation development work and the importance of groups to the healthy functioning of organisations

  • become knowledgeable about group theories, models, tools and techniques - what to observe and how to intervene effectively in groups

  • increase their skill in facilitating complex group dynamics: conflict; differences and diversity; overt/covert processes; power and politics



Participants will receive one-on-one peer mentoring between modules, from an NTL OD Certificate Programme graduate. The mentoring will support the participant in integrating key learning into their day-to-day practice.


DIAGNOSING ORGANISATIONS WITH IMPACT: the art of organisational meaning making

A critical task for OD consultants is determining what information --- amongst the complexity of data that exists and evolves in every organisation --- to attend to and use in meaning-making with clients. Participants will learn about organisations as open systems, develop skills in data gathering in multiple contexts, and create their personal meaning-making and diagnostic models.

Participants will:

  • understand the function and importance of diagnosis in organisation development work

  • look at the different levels of diagnosis – intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, inter-group, system, inter-systems

  • understand different types of diagnosis, and different perspectives that one can undertake diagnosis with, and how to plan diagnostic methodologies from different theoretical lenses (including social inquiry and Dialogic OD)

  • look at a number of frameworks in diagnosis, especially applying a few big system models for the diagnosis of the general health of the organisation

  • go through the three critical areas: Data collection, Data Analysis, and Data Feedback and apply these to a real current complex diagnostic case




This module increases participants’ capability in planning and applying a variety of intervention approaches at the individual, group, inter-group, and organisational levels.

Participants will:

  • explore multiple dimensions of intervention for different OD purposes and the principles and practices underpinning them

  • gain confidence to make choices about interventions and how to design and deliver them

  • integrate learning from previous models together with previous experience to expand notions of learning how to learn about the practice of intervention design and delivery

  • consider selected interventions, reflecting on what they evoke as data for studying implications for applying interventions in back home systems to become instruments for change



This module addresses the dynamics of complex adaptive change, managing the polarity between planned versus emergent change, and balancing internal alignment with an unpredictable external environment.  Understanding and assessing the external environment and stakeholder groups is an additional focus.

Participants will:

  • use different theoretical premises and principles to provide lenses and skills to help the client system to examine “why this change?” and “what type of change?”

  • know how to work with groups and multiple layers of groups to spread the change and engagement while addressing defences and resistance by working with different combinations of groups

  • gain a deeper understanding of what is needed during times of change; how to do planned change as well as working with emergent change

  • learn how to work with an organisation to achieve the best outcomes; how to manage in an environment where there is limited structure and control; what development stretch is needed to deliver and how to LIVE through the complexity lens to “look” at change as well as deliver some very different types/levels of intervention

  • learn how to work with the polarities and paradoxes of complex change and develop polarity thinking skills in others