OD Consultancy

Request specialist support from the OD team:  If you would like some special support on, for example, team dynamics/team work; away days; sessions at events; or requests for bespoke development activity, we've provided below some case studies which might give you a flavour of what we are able to offer.  Once you've decided, please compete our OD Advisory Request Form and a member of the team will get back to you. 

Case Study 1

The Request: 

A manager from one of the University Service areas requested support from OD following some changes to the structure, roles, and responsibilities within their team. The request was for help and support around the following: 

  • building a vision for the team
  • providing structure and clarity around team roles and responsibilities
  • embodying the organisational values in the work of the team 


What we did: 

Following the initial request, two members of the OD team met with the manager to discuss the objectives, ensuring that any support provided would be appropriately aligned to the desired outcomes and longer-term objectives. Here, it was important to discuss some of the context e.g., the history of the team, the culture and climate, any sensitivities or concerns relating to group dynamics. Both the manager and OD used this discussion to exchange thoughts and ideas as to what some support might look like. One early idea proposed was for the team to have an away day during which some important areas might be discussed.

 Following the initial discussion, OD spent some time discussing the objectives further and generating ideas for activities and support that would best help deliver those objectives for the team. OD, in collaboration with the manager, designed an outline plan for an away day. 

Once the manager and OD were satisfied with the design and structure of the away day, the manager invited some of their team leaders to attend a pre-meeting with the OD partners. It had been clear from the outset that OD would support, but not solely facilitate, the away day therefore, this meeting was helpful in allowing all parties to decide which parts of the day would be lead/facilitated by them. An outline plan of the away day can be seen on the next two pages. 





Icebreaker & Agenda

Participants to choose 1-2 images (from a display on screen) and briefly share what it means for them.

Outline/plan for the day / Ground rules.


Context and Vision

Presentation followed by Q&A.


What’s gone well

Interactive activity to acknowledge and appreciate the team’s achievements and successes to date. 

Capture and discuss main themes

Team Leader


OD facilitating feedback to plenary

Barriers & obstacles

Discussion of some of the possible barriers & obstacles which get in the way of further progress. Capture and discuss main themes.

Team Leader


OD facilitating feedback to plenary




Current projects and responsibilities

Project Leads to present and discuss:

  • Project overview
  • Milestones, progress etc

Project Leads




Detailed planning

Summary of where we’ve got to, what has been covered in the morning session: vision & strategic priorities; successes; challenges; workstream overviews. 

Workstream groups to use the information presented in the morning and draft some detailed plans. Slide to be used to provide main points to cover & general structure.

Groups to share main points (Stop/Start/Continue?) from their plans back to the plenary.




OD to introduce activity





The Values

Intro to University Values (included in pre-work).

Participants to form different groups to discuss the values and examples of good / poor behaviours. Handouts of the values to be available (also included in pre-work) around the room/on large screen to help.



Next Steps

Clarify next steps, acknowledge the day’s achievements and call out and reinforce any commitments made.


Case Study 2

The Request

 The Head of an academic area asked if OD could provide support to their line managers to enable them to have effective PDR conversations with their staff.

What we did

OD had an initial discussion with the Head which revealed that the support required was broader than first expressed. Through more in-depth conversations it emerged that there were a number of challenges facing the team. The Head followed up by having a meeting with their senior managers to discuss and agree what the main areas might be that OD could help with. These were communicated back to OD as being:

  • Building managers’ confidence levels in addressing underperformance and undesired behaviours
  • Building knowledge and awareness of the organisation’s new values
  • Developing capability in working with the values to address challenges facing the area 

Following this there was a further discussion between OD and the Head to unpick some of these, co-create a design and structure for a half-day workshop to be held for the senior management team.

POD colleagues, OD partners and the Head then worked collaboratively on the content, activities and sequencing for the event, including some case studies which were based on some of the challenging behaviours emerging within the area. 

Agenda for the session: 






Setting the context and objectives of the session. A presentation by the Head, summarising recent events, successes and challenges.


Values presentation

A reminder of the new UofG values along with an overview of how they were developed and their purpose.

POD Colleague

Challenges and Values

Presentation of a ‘matrix’ table mapping the four values against each of the main challenges identified by the team prior to the session. 

Group organised into 4 break-out groups - each discussing one challenge and how each of the values could be leveraged to help address the challenge. 

Feedback by each break out group back to plenary, points captured on a Jamboard. 


Leading with the Values

Each of the three case studies was presented to the group. The group was then organised into three smaller groups, each taking one of the case studies to explore and identify ways of dealing with and addressing with the ‘problem’, with reference to one or more of the values. 

OD / Head




Leading with the Values cont.

Each group presented back to the plenary a summary of their discussions: the problem presented in the case; the underlying problem (rather than the symptom); the multiple dimensions; possible steps to address each of these; explanation of how these strategies linked to the values. 


The Values and PDR

This activity was a follow on to some work undertaken jointly by the team and POD colleagues prior to the session.

The group was presented with two scenarios: one around a PDR discussion where positive feedback would be appropriate; another, also a PDR discussion, but this time the conversation was to address concerns around performance and behaviours.

A plenary discussion was facilitated, capturing the main points of discussion using Jamboard. 



The Head shared their main points of observation as well as the next steps which were: 

  • A follow up meeting to discuss the main points from the session and identify strategies for the team
  • Attendance at two OD workshops: Assertiveness and Challenging and Effective Conversations


Case Study 3

A large unit of the university got in touch with OD to ask for Active Listening training.

After a couple of conversations and some consultative questions, we discovered that the support required was broader than first expressed. The ask was widened to look at how better to create a more inclusive community through listening, giving and receiving feedback, and embedding inclusion and diversity into all aspects of the service.

This was intended to set the foundation for future work that the unit would do themselves internally.

The final agreed objectives were:

  • Understand your impact on those around you
  • Become more aware of your own preconceptions and communication style
  • Understand multiple perspectives and experiences
  • Give you more confidence to interact with all people in a positive and empowering way
  • Use the new University of Glasgow values to help inform and reinforce the right behaviours

After consultation with key stakeholders in the unit, OD designed a two part session (2.5 hours each) which was twice delivered virtually to groups of around 12-15 people. Among the topics and exercises covered were the iceberg model of understanding behaviours, the zoo model of diversity of preferences within teams, how to receive challenging feedback and sit with discomfort, and psychological safety.

Colleagues within the service designed some case studies and hypothetical examples of difficult situations for participants to work on within the sessions, to allow immediate use of the tools and techniques in a safe and confidential environment.

Afterwards, the key exercises in the sessions were given to the function separately in a slide deck with facilitator notes alongside, so that those who had been on the original sessions could deliver the crucial messages and learnings to others within the unit.