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Theory and Philosophy of Ocapi

Ocapi Supports Autonomous Improvement

Aiming For Autonomous Organizational Learning

An environment that supports rapid change requires a state of continuous preparedness, reviewing and adjusting the direction every few months. In effective organizations, people tend to drive these activities with their continuous efforts in the workplace to change themselves autonomously through dialogue rather than having plans imposed on them from the outside.

It is important for group members to generate a creative process from their daily activities ? a process where people design preferable changes on their own and appreciate small improvements.

Group members will: 1) evaluate their organization's current state of growth and change, 2) understand what is happening, 3) determine important themes for the future of the group, 4) gain insight into what should be done from a systematic perspective, and 5) create actions on their own.

By repeating this process, an organization is able to accelerate strengthening its collective learning capacity, creating a new environment on its own, and transforming itself into a better organization.

By objectively evaluating the progress and changes that occurred in your organization, Ocapi can help your organization celebrate its successful efforts and prioritize the next steps.

To Facilitate Successful Organizational Change

The Reality of Organizational Change

We cannot expect people's mindset and behavior or an organization's culture to completely change in the short term ? like a few days or a month.

However, looking back, most profound changes are the result of cumulative effects of continuous small improvements.

Not to Give Up Mid-way

When group members try making improvements, and are not able to see big changes or immediate results, they are likely to become discouraged and garner the disappointment of those around them. As a result ? despite a good start ? people are likely to give up mid-way.

Assessments Generate Confidence and Support

It may take from one to three years for big improvements to be noticeable. Without measurable results during this period, and without support from management and their colleagues, group members may lose their energy to continue efforts to bring about organizational change. Feedback is important to generate processes for implementing organizational change involving everybody, and to create value through trial and error.

A Compass is Essential

An indicator is critical for finding and expanding small changes and for obtaining objective information to start discussions on what steps can be taken.

Ocapi is an assessment tool that helps organizations and communities identify their conditions from three aspects ? quality of relationships, quality of collective thinking, and quality of actions ? and generate continuous efforts for positive change.

Objectively evaluating the progress and changes that occurred in your organization helps your organization celebrate its successful efforts and prioritize the next steps.

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Holding Discussions with Ocapi Reports

Ocapi is initiated and administered by the members of the group or community. The results will be shared and discussed among themselves. Rather than relying on a third party to read the report and analyze or diagnose the results, members should discuss their concerns and share their insights about the report. By holding such a discussion, members of the group can share various perspectives with each other, gain insights into the dynamics behind the results, find the leverage point toward a positive future, and create a plan of action together.

After taking action, reflect on the progress, seek further improvement, and discuss the next actions to take.

Discussion Focusing on Strengths

When discussing the Ocapi report, each member should talk about their personal experiences and aspirations. Listening to each other's personal experiences and stories encourages new meaning, knowledge, and action to emerge from the discussion.

We suggest you hold discussions with members of your group using the report to help your organization improve.

It is likely that your eyes will be drawn to items with poor grades. You may even want to compare your results with those from other divisions or organizations. But comparing results with others, and concentrating on improving poor grades, is likely to adversely affect positive energy in the group. It is best to start the discussion by acknowledging the strengths of your group.

Continually using Ocapi will make it easy to see your progress as you can pinpoint which property has improved compared to the previous reports.

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Ocapi Grew out of Both Qualitative and Quantitative Research

The Voices of Tens of Thousands

For more than 20 years, Human Value, Inc. has supported organizational change efforts in major corporations and government bodies. For the past 10 years, Human Value has collected qualitative data concerning the actual changes that have resulted from the initiatives carried out, by reviewing the effectiveness of the change efforts with clients at the end of each project. These comments number in the tens of thousands.

41 Properties Developed through Qualitative Research

We recorded these changes and then organized and labeled them with category codes called "dimensions," which we repeated until no more dimensions appeared (theoretical saturation). Furthermore, these dimensions were classified and abstracted into 41 properties.

Systematic Organizational Change and Growth

When we tracked the process of organizational improvement, we found that the sequence of the properties was virtually identical regardless of the organization.

From this qualitative study, we have found that the process of how organizations become places where people jointly develop ideas to take innovative action, and the levels of the properties found in our research, are common in any group of people.

Quantitative Validation of Qualitative Research

Based on the qualitative research, we developed a questionnaire to capture the rate of the 41 properties. We tested the validity and reliability of the questionnaire through quantitative research twice. The first test data was collected through a preliminary research to a sample of a broad and representative spectrum of 2,000 people, male and female, management and non-management, of various ages, including 400 samples in the United States. The second test data was with 3,000 samples of actual Ocapi respondents. We evaluated the construct validity through factor analysis and followed up with an item analysis using Cronbach's alpha to test the reliability. As a result we confirmed that the Ocapi questionnaire has enough validity and reliability from the statistical aspect. The validity and reliability of the Ocapi model will be tested periodically.

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Philosophy Behind Ocapi

How to Support a Generative Change Process

Conventional top-down strategic-planning or personnel-development which are driven by management, corporate planning departments, or human resources divisions have proven to be ineffective for creating people value, enterprise value, and shared value.

Those conventional approaches that make member passive by defining groups ? such as "those that impose the change" and "those obligated to carry out the change" or "those that observe" and "those that are observed" ? tend to fail. And such analytical approaches that look for problems and people to blame do not work as well.

Today, it is important to take generative approaches ? group learning and autonomous action by members of the organization create new environment and bring about changes.

Specifically, it is important that there are open communication, joint action, and initiative of all members within the organization.

To achieve this it requires the organization to systematically improve the quality of relationships, so that the quality of collective thinking and the quality of actions also improve.

What Ocapi Values and Measures

What Ocapi values

Ocapi is guided by generally preferred humanistic values such as social capital and common good. Properties of Ocapi can help people understand improvements in relationships, thinking, and actions, which create value for people and organization.

What Ocapi measures

Ocapi does not measure structural systems and policies of an organization or extrinsic conditions such as manufacturing, productivity, and economic indices. Rather, Ocapi measures the basis of them ? intrinsic conditions such as the relationships (communications and interactions), thinking (perceptions toward the situation), and actions (attitudes and behavior). This essentially visualizes the transition process of members' intrinsic condition.

Differences from Other Diagnostic Models

A generative change model rather than a planned change model

Some people think that organizations are man-made creations like machines ? and that organizational changes can be planned and implemented in a linear fashion, by a series of events or steps. This mechanical diagnosis model focuses on analyzing organizational factors and conditions such as structure/process, resources, information, knowledge/skills, motives, and wellness.

Others believe that organizations are ecosystems that give life to people's aspirations and actions, and that organizational change is the process of evolution that occurs with people's interaction, learning, experience, and trust.

Ocapi perceives and measures organizational change as the evolution of ecosystems.

Ocapi's focus

There are several facets to understand organizational conditions. One facet is the systems and hierarchy, decision-making process, and involvement in production planning. Another is communication processes, functions, and forms of networks.

Ocapi attempts to capture the basis of the above two facets, such as the ideas, trust, relationship, reciprocity, values/philosophy, and behavioral patterns as an ecosystem, in a holistic way.

Ocapi Encourages Self-Organization

Although some managements and some specialists try to treat the organization as a machine ? and treat organizational improvement as something that can be planned, imposed, and analyzed ? it is difficult to achieve the expected results that way: external influences are becoming more complex, globalization and the progress of information technology make for rapid change, and the deterministic world view is becoming less practical.

The human resource development model ? believing that simply improving the efficiency and skills of individual team members improves results of the organization ? is also proving ineffective. It is coming to be realized that ? as in the sports world ? team synergy is the most important thing.

The organization must be treated not a machine, but as a living system. An analysis of part of such a system cannot be extrapolated to explain the whole system. It is necessary to understand the interaction among the parts of the system and the evolution of the system as a whole.

Living systems have the ability to self-organize. If one does not attempt to control them like machines, then self-organization starts to emerge. However, based on the idea of Ilya Prigogine, self-organization occurs without external control, but interaction of energy with the world outside the organization is crucial. Continuous "renewal" within the organization is also necessary. In other words, external feedback and support is crucial.

With these conditions, regardless of circumstances, the process of development of different organizations take the same path.

References: Kim, D.H. (2002). Organizing for Learning, Singapore: Cobee Trading Company.

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