1985 ), consultants ’ role W r i t i n g
Consulting Simulation Debrief *
*This Action Research Discussion is worth more points than other discussions in the course. Refer to course syllabus and to grading rubric.
Consider the following excerpt:
Overall, consultation is essentially the act of helping (Bell & Nadler, 1979; Schein, 1987, 1999a). A consultant is the person who is deemed by the client to be capable of helping the organization to enhance its effectiveness (Bell & Nadler, 1979). Therefore, consultants must have consulting and interpersonal skills needed to improve the effectiveness of an organization, its systems, processes, and practices. In terms of problem solving, client organizations who hire consultants typically expect the professionals to help solve their problems because of their specialized knowledge. Engaging the client in ongoing collaboration requires having the ability not to only recognize the client’s needs, but to consciously shift roles to best match and appropriately manage the client’s needs during various phases of the engagement until appropriate interventions are implemented (Schein, 1987; 1999).
In a model by Nees and Greiner (1985), consultants’ role as “friendly copilots” (p. 16) align with Schein’s process consultation (Buono, 2009). The consultant approaches the organization as a “co-pilot” (p. 16) on the journey of identifying and fixing the issues of the organization. In his masterful consulting strategy, Merron (2005) emphasized the goal of empowering clients to own the process and outcome of the collaborative effort. In this model, forming a partnership with the client is important as knowledge and capability are transferred from the consultant to the client (Merron, 2005).
The consultant’s important role in bridging methods and theory to practice will be honed and refined through extensive professional experience interacting with varied organizations and the people within them. Using these skills will allow you to discover which techniques works best for you and your clients. As a student learning these important OD skills, you may find that you have few authentic opportunities to practice applying them. The simulation activity that you completed for this week’s Discussion provided you with the opportunity to apply and develop your skills. Reflect on the skills you felt you had a good handle on and which skills you will need to continue to strengthen and refine.
Vosoughi, M. (2014). Organizational development consulting: A study of expert consultants’ key strategies. UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations, 550. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/550
- Review the Simulation Overview and Preparation document and complete your scheduled simulation session.
By Day 4
Review, reflect on, and process your simulation session with class colleagues.
- Discuss how it felt to play the role of an actual OD consultant.
- Share your observations, assessment strategies, and tactics, and discuss what you observed to be the organization’s key issues.
- Include a discussion of the OD’s assessment strategies/tactics, verbal/nonverbal communication, resistance, observations of transference/countertransference, use of APA code of ethics, and proposed solutions.
- What do you see as the pros and cons of using this type of simulation?
- What did you learn and gain from this experience?
- Reflect on your performance in this simulation session. What did you do well? What do you need to improve?
- What specific skills do you feel you need to develop based on your simulation experience?