MSI’s Four-Dimensional (4D) Approach to Institutional Strengthening

Our Four-Dimensional (4D) approach to institutional strengthening helps organizations achieve their goals and supports change across four dimensions – individual, team, organization and environment – using innovative, participatory methods and tools. Read more about the approach here and in a blog written by our technical expert Suzanne Bond highlighting MSI research in this area.

We are justifiably proud of our approach, which reflects the latest research in organizational development and positive psychology. While the tools we use are important, the MSI tool is different not only for the excellence of the approach but in how we do it.

  • We balance performance (results) and process, so our facilitators keep leadership focused on the end goals while helping them engage with individuals, teams, the organization, and key players in the environment to achieve and maintain performance gains.
  • We recognize that if people are to behave differently, the drivers and incentives for change need to be evident to everyone who is being asked to change.
  • We recognize that learning is essential for sustained performance improvement and we recognize that there are frequent opportunities for it. We model reflective practice and ask questions that open people to reflection.

In developing our approach to organizational development, MSI did an analysis and ranking of 20 common organizational assessment tools. Only a couple of tools tried to capture organizational strengths and assets, which the research suggests is essential. Our assessment rubric is available here.


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