Case studies for the OD consultant practicing in global complexity

The launch of GB 1.00 was bumpy. The client system crashed, GB 1.00 had to be reinstalled 3 times and $300,000 revenue was lost due to downtime. Even after the fix, GB 1 crashes twice a week causing financial damage. Nevertheless, the GB 1 increases the “speed of service” by 49% a week.

The Key Account Manager of the client went to his CEO and complained that the account could be lost “unless we show a road map of corrective action and that means that all resources need to be funneled into fixing this problem now“. This is of course is impossible because there are 125 similar projects going on simultaneously.

Au urgent meeting was convened, led by Dr Fred Renaud, the US based Senior  Vice President of R&D, and attended by the CEO, the account manager, and the entire development team.

Humi, a developer from Israel paid no heed to the “moaning” of the Key Account Manager. “These product releases take time to stabilize let’s roll up our sleeves and start working. I’ll fly to the client site tonight.”

Dr Fred said that “an overall high level comprehensive plan” is needed- “and only then, you can fly wherever you want, Humi”.

Jai from Thailand smiled during the entire meeting-her team had developed a major component and she was very embarrassed. “What are you laughing at, Jai? What is so God damn funny? (Fred hates “the Orient”, it is too hot and I don’t get their obtuse communication style”, he complained.)

Hans, the German PMO (project management)  wanted “detail before we “mof” on”. And he stared delving into detail which drove the other team members to distraction.

After an hour, the meeting broke up.

The CEO want to hire a consultant to “get all our ducks in one line”.


  1. What are your basic assumptions that could hinder your consultative apporach to being effective in such a situation?
  2. What is the role of the client in your planned intervention?
  3. How will get people’s trust?
  4. Define the end state you want to reach and how to get there.
  5. What is your role?



Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.