In Chapter One of Flawless Consulting, Block notes that there are five phases to the consulting process (pp. 6 – 9). You’ll continue to utilize Block’s phases to create a framework of what consulting on a HR specific task might look like. A reminder of the five phases as defined by Block:
1) Entry and Contracting: Determining if the client and consultant are a good match and team and determining expectations of both.
2) Discovery and Dialogue: Questions a consultant might ask in this stage include, “Who is going to be involved in defining the problem/situation/solution?” “What methods might be used (for example, S.W.O.T., S.M.A.R.T goals, interviews, internal and external scans, etc)” “Who should do inquiries, the client or the consultant?”.
3) Analysis and the Decision to Act: Often what people call “project planning.” From the “discovery and dialog” stage, there is always more data than can be feasibly or usefully shared with clients. Therefore, consultants are tasked with mining the data and reporting back to clients the necessary points. This stage includes mining of data, dealing with resistance, co-creation of goals of the project and next best steps. In this stage, it’s important to remember, clients ALWAYS have resistance to data, it’s the consultant’s role to determine how to address the resistance.
4) Engagement and Implementation: Carrying out the plan from phase #3. Sometimes the consultant is involved in this process, other times they are not. Often implementation begins with some sort of collective event to introduce the plan to interested parties.
5) Extension, Recycle or Termination: Should the client/consultant relationship continue? Often this is the case if the problem isn’t totally known until the implementation stage. Should the consulting relationship be extended to other parts of the business? Should the relationship end?
For this discussion you are being asked to consult with an organization on changing the culture of an organization or department. Assume you already have a contract signed. What are five to seven steps (total) you would take in phases 2 – 4 listed above? You do not need to note five to seven steps for each phase but five to seven steps total.
The details of the organization and their current package don’t matter – you’ll take pretty much the same steps for every contract you have. That being said, how might your process differ if you were serving as an internal consultant vs. external consultant.
Example (this was for Comp and Benefit discussion in Week 5 but the same principles apply):
Step 1: Determine current comp and benefits package. Speak with HR, review HR manual.
Step 2: Speak with staff regarding their wants/needs of benefits package. Do both organization-wide survey and interview from a staff from each department selected at random.
2.Identify two HR strategies that your company uses to ensure that they have the right talent to meet their mission, vision and business objectives. Suggest two HR strategies that your company could employ to gain competitive advantage.
3.Based on what you’ve learned in the last several weeks about communications, what two methods for communicating HR strategy would be most effective in your organization? Why?