Weeks 9 & 10 - Block's Whole System Discovery vs Traditional Consulting Approaches
45 point quiz Wednesday October 23rd. Topics covered are found in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 and related discussion. It will be multiple choice, so please bring a pencil and a 15 question scantron.
The following two weeks will be solidifying what we know about using our skills to act as consultants. We will emphasize individuals working within systems to see how we can motivate them to contribute their best.
We'll refine what we know about coaching individuals - I'll discuss the coaching and mentoring function in class a bit more. Please take notes, and if you miss the discussion, you are advised to ask a classmate for them. I feel strongly that, as new problem-solvers, it is crucial that you understand how coaching skills help you become immediately valuable as a welcome team mate.
I will be handing out diagnostic management materials. If you are not available to come to class, then copy the material from someone who has it. In the next several weeks, you and your group will have a consulting challenge to address together, using whatever material you decide (of all you have been given) to devise your approach. So - please understand what we are discussing in class, ask questions when you don't understand, and please participate with the energy you would bring to an actual consulting job. I will be grading you subjectively on your professionalism, work with your group, and your ability to articulate responses to questions - and ask excellent questions.
Assigned reading: We’ll turn to Chapter 11 in the Block book, Whole System Discovery (WSD). Here Block discusses an alternative to our view of work of the “traditional consultant,” delving into “Whole System Discovery. “ He has some caveats upfront, namely that “whole system” is a bit misleading, as the entirety of an organization is not necessarily involved literally. We’ll be discussing the nuance of WSD in the weeks ahead. To make this process work, the consultant and client have to give up some control and start down an unpredictable path. The practicality of the approach depends very much upon the willingness of each side to cede controls they may prefer to retain.
Closely related - how does one consult virtually? With many key communications in the virtual realm, we need to understand how it's done well.
WSD Discussion Expect some homework on this