Question 1. It should be clear at this point that consulting and coaching are two very different practices. And, while they can be instituted concurrently within a client organization, each has specific purposes, guidelines, and ethical considerations. As an OD consultant, it will be your responsibility to determine the appropriate use and timing of coaching interventions.
According to Jacobson, Butterill, and Goering (2005), “Consulting appears to be an effective strategy for carrying out an interactive model of knowledge transfer to enhance the use of research-based knowledge in decision-making environments. The success of consulting in facilitating knowledge transfer between [consultants] and decision-makers seems to rest on several characteristics of the process: the genesis of most consulting projects is changing that presents an urgent challenge or threat to the client group; the “service” model of the process, in which clients pay consultants to provide specific knowledge, expertise, and/or skills within a defined scope; the mutual, and ongoing, contribution by consultants and clients to defining that scope; the consultants’ explicit attention to creating a process that respects their clients’ local expertise and political reality; and the consultants’ efforts to promote the utility of their knowledge-based recommendations through strategies of participation and representation.”
Lunenberg (2010) notes that “’ organization development-type change agents’ [focus] their attention on internal processes such as intergroup relations, communication, and decision making. Their intervention strategy is often called a cultural change approach because they thoroughly analyze the culture of the targeted organization. This approach grew out of such areas as sensitivity training, team building, and survey feedback. Many managers assume the role of organization-development type when implementing change.”
In short, the goal of both consulting and coaching is a positive change. However, the methods and processes of effecting change differ between these models.
Jacobson, N., Butterill, D., & Goering, P. (2005). Consulting as a strategy for knowledge transfer. The Milbank Quarterly, 83(2), 299–321. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0009.2005.00348.x
Lunenberg, F. C. (2010). Managing change: The role of the change agent. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, 13(1). https://naaee.org/sites/default/files/lunenburg_fred_c._managing_change_the_role_of_change_agent_ijmba_v13_n1_2010.pdf
Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider what differentiates consulting from coaching.
Question 2. Bringing It All Together
As this course concludes, reflect on all you have learned. The readings, Discussions, Assignments, and assessments should have increased your base of knowledge and appreciation of key elements of the field. Comments and dialogue with your peers should have provided valuable insight and helped you further deepen and broaden your understanding of consulting for organizational development and change.
Now turn your thoughts to the future and consider how you will apply what you have learned in order to be an effective practitioner and create positive social change. What career opportunities are most interesting to you? How will you continue to develop your professional skills? As you revisit and reflect on the assessments you completed in Week 1, do you think your results would be different today? Has your learning in this course helped you meet your personal goals and objectives based on these assessments?
Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on what you have learned throughout this course.
What elements of the course stand out to you as the most important?
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