The appointed consultant

Unpleasant as it can be, OD consultants can be appointed by someone to help someone else who either does not see the need for help and/or has no say in the identity of the consultant.

I have been appointed by owners, and more often boards, to work with managers who resent the very act of suggesting that they need help. And I have formulated a few guidelines for such situations which I am sharing in this post.

1 Acknowledge that awkwardness of the situation. I often use a metaphor that “I’m the guy that needs to do root canal and you don’t even see the need to visit a dentist”. Discuss the awkwardness as an issue.

2 Allow the person with whom you have been asked to work to cease the consultation at the drop of a hat.

3 Agree that all updates that you will give the folks who commissioned your services will be transparent-that is, your assessment will be shared a priori with the person with whom you are working.

4 Spend time cementing the relationship, Trade favours, create a feeling of “safety” and stick to your word.

5 If you think that your client and the person who appointed you are a system problem, then work with both of them as a system, or resign.







Share Button

3 thoughts on “The appointed consultant

  1. Good advice, thank you!

    I am often in that position and I agree with your approach — in the end if you don’t do what you suggest, it can end ugly and reputations can get badly hurt all around.

  2. It’s always a challenge helping someone who doesn’t want your help (or even recognize the need for help), and their assessment of what is needed (for themselves or others) doesn’t often match with the contractor’s point of view.

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Your email address will not be published.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.