When a system is not achieving results or is doing so ineffectively, it is useful to inquire about what’s going on “under the waterline” that may be keeping it stuck. Here are suggestions for inquiry organized beginning with what is easiest to address and most impactful on system performance. Continue reading Diagnosing Human Systems: The Waterline Model
While many teams and groups excel in their own ways under different conditions, some common qualities can be observed. Continue reading Qualities of An Excellent Team
“The most important thing we do as consultants is inquiry. The key point is that the way we know is fateful. The questions we ask, the things that we choose to focus on; the topics that we choose determine what we find. What we find becomes the data and the story out of which we dialogue about and envision the future. And so, the seeds of change are implicit in the very first questions we ask.” —David Cooperrider
“Organizational culture is the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors. Culture includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits…” – Wikipedia
Mission statements are important because they focus a team on its primary customers, functions and values. Consulting teams and client organizations alike can be strengthened by establishing or clarifying their shared mission statement. Exploring these four questions, in sequence, individually, and then as a group can help. Continue reading 4 Questions To Generate A Team Mission Statement
The ‘Ladder’ describes a series of “Common mental pathways of increasing abstraction” explored in Peter Senge’s foundational text. By reflecting and using the Ladder of Inference, people can improve communication by Continue reading The Ladder of Inference
Oftentimes how feedback is given and received is as important as the content of the feedback (the ‘what‘). Here are 7 principles for handling feedback that can help ensure its effective. Continue reading 7 Principles for Giving and Receiving Feedback Effectively
Our relationship-based consulting model follows a logical progression of consultant activities and behaviors. Variations occur in the level of collaboration between client and consultant in the activities and the timing of those activities. Continue reading 5 Phases of the Consulting Process
Setting up a Meeting:
- Do as much as you can to be clear with the client about the objectives of the meeting—both the objectives you have and what they see as objectives.
- See the space, if possible, or get a good description of it.
- Take time with the client to go over success factors and possible roadblocks to a successful meeting.
Adapted from The Skilled Helper, 8th Edition, by Gerard Egan
Clients usually call organization development consultants for help in two areas:
- Problem situations. Things aren’t going as they’d like them to. Maybe morale is low or turnover is high. Maybe there’s a lot of conflict or mistrust or they’re having trouble implementing change. Often, clients have tried various solutions already and have gotten overwhelmed or frustrated.