Training focuses on improving the performance of individuals and teams; [Organizational Development] focuses on a bigger picture, improving the performance of systems, structures, and processes, as well as looking at the people. The "as well as" is where the conflicts between OD and training arise, and where the synergies are to be found.
people apparently learn four times as much through the informal on-the-job learning than they do through structured formal training. And the best place to leverage local learning is deep in the workflow, not from a central campus.
So why are so many trainers re-labeling themselves as organizational developers? It may be because trainers don’t get taken seriously enough by management. The “trainer” label is a handicap that constrains their perceived effectiveness areas, and deprives them of the ability to credibly voice the need for changes beyond the knowledge and skills of employees. And it puts a barrier in the way of their influencing or driving those changes.
OD professionals are often horrified when trainers attempt to go beyond their brief. Granted, OD people are highly trained in what they do, and a bumbling amateur can do more harm than good. But experienced trainers often have a much deeper hands-on insight into the issues than anyone gives them credit for. In pursuing OD initiatives, I have always sought to tap into the organizational expertise of trainers, because trainers are the nervous system of an organisation. They see, hear, and feel more than many managers do, and they are exposed to the systemic problems, and opportunities, through the eyes of their learners.