3 questions OD consultants are asked before a process starts.

During the process which proceeds the initiation of an OD project, it is not uncommon to be asked questions for which there are no easy answers, since OD is neither a commodity, nor a standard professional service.

Here are three frequent questions, and guidelines for answers.

1) What are the milestones of progress in this project?

The project has  no traditional “milestones, because it is a process that we are undertaking and not a project. There process has three distinct stages. The first stage is a diagnosis. The second stage is presenting an action plan, and the third stage is implementation.

2) If that is the case, how can progress be measured?

An ongoing dialogue takes place between us all the time to ensure we are making progress, as opposed to us “measuring” something at any given interlude.

In organizations, lots of stuff which is measured may not be indicative of real progress; yet many things which cannot be measured are critical for an organization to make progress.

If there is progress, we will all know it; if we are stuck, it will be very evident.

3) Why don’t you work for a success fee?

Well, the organization may not do what I recommend, and perhaps rightly so. So I cannot be measured that way!

This process is a joint effort, not my success or my failure. And the organization needs to cooperate with the process, not control it via a success fee.The very process itself is designed to move the organizations away from such a mode of behaviour.

You can follow me @AllonShevat

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3 thoughts on “3 questions OD consultants are asked before a process starts.

  1. I remember having completed a contract with the Canadian Navy ($25 gs). In the end, the admiral in charge told me he got his money’s worth having estimated savings of up to 8 m as a result of the decisions that were made during the process of our work + an increase in morale with the military groups I had worked with. I asked him if he would be willing to give me 10% of the savings; he declined. I asked him what the increase in morale was worth to him and the troops; he said: “As you once said to me, Lévis, everything that counts is not measurable and everything that is measurable doesn’t count”. (That quote was in fact from Einstein).

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