Many OD consultants assume that there is a shared view of what is truth.
Nothing can be further from the truth!
Boss John asks Bill (in a concall) if the quarter looks good. Bill gives bad news. Bill is telling the truth, i.e. representing the facts; while Bill may fear how John may act, Bill is not fearful as being seen as a liar.
Boss John then asks Som (in the same con call) if the quarter looks good. Som says that the quarter is looking fine. After the concall, Som calls John and says the quarter is horrible. John calls in an OD consultant because Som is lying and “ we need to have full transparency”.
Do most OD consultants understand this? My experience is that they do not. In cases like this, the western educated OD consultant will work with Som “to be more transparent”. Som will agree, but for the wrong reasons.
The global OD consultant needs to understand that Som has a different hierarchy of truths. Som believes that relationships need to “appear” harmonious, bad news news to be given discretely, and all effort must be made not to give the boss bad news in public because it makes the boss look bad.
The global OD consultant will provide John with the right context to elicit “
accurate” news from his direct reportees.