List a few advantages and disadvantages to being an internal and external consultant that were not mentioned in Chapter 5.
The Consulting Process, Entry, & Contracting
Models of Consulting
Clientsare the experts in the organization, what will/won’t workUnlike the expert modelJointdiagnosis and problem solvingUnlike the doctor-patient model Clientneeds to recognize the problem and take actionUnlike the mechanic modelHelp fix the problem and transfer problem-solving skillsUnlike each of the three other models!
Principles of OD Consultation
Always try to be helpfulAccess your ignoranceEverything you do is an interventionEverything is dataIt is the client who owns the problem and the solutionGo with the flow; timing is crucialWhen in doubt, share the problem
The Consulting ProcessEntry
Getting in, getting started, learning the clientTypes of clients:Contact clients:Contact clients are the initial points of communication in the client organization.Intermediate clients:Intermediate clients are those that are included in meetings or from whom data is gathered during the course of the engagement.Primary clients:Primary clients have responsibility for the problem the consultant is working to address. Primary clients generally are the ones paying for the consultant’s services.Unwitting clients:Unwitting clients will be affected by the engagement or intervention but may not know of the engagement activity or that it will concern them.Indirect clients:Indirect clients are not known to the consultant but are conscious
that they are stakeholders in the outcome.
Ultimate clients: Ultimate clients consist of the larger system or organization, “or
any other group that the consultant cares about and whose welfare must be
considered” (Schein, 1997, p. 203).
The process of “coming to agreement” on what the OD project will doCan be written or verbalUnderstand the client’s perception of the situation or problemElicit mutual “wants” and expectationsDefines successNot a one-time event
Some Questions to Answer
What does the client want?What do you need from the client in order to accomplish this?What will you do/deliver?What will your role be? The client’s role?What’s the time schedule?What about confidentiality?How/When will you give feedback?
The Contracting Meeting
Ask, Listen, Paraphrase/Feedback“So it sounds like you’re having difficulty with coordination between the marketing and sales departments?”Clarify the problem“What do you mean by X?” “How often does X happen?”Give support“I appreciate your willingness to talk to me about this difficult problem.”Communicate understanding of the problem“It’s common for groups to feel competitive in this manner, but the time pressure placed on both groups makes this situation unique.”Be explicit“I want to be clear –I don’t think we will solve this problem with one workshop.”End with feedback
Getting “Stuck” in Contracting
What “stuck” looks like
Disagreement over goals, resources, time
Client restates problem over and over
Nonverbals: yawning, looking at watch
How to proceed
Admit it: “I think we’re stuck.”
Change your offer
Change the objective
Take a break
Terminate/minimize the engagement (end, delay)
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