Your midweek assignment in this course will be a continuous project. You will be assuming the role of a consultant. Each week, you will engage in a different aspect of an organizational development activity. The focus of the project will be the professional development needs of the members of the organization. In other words, you will examine how well your organization develops its members towards building a sustainable and competitive organization. You will use the same organization for each week’s assignment. You may select your own organization, an organization you have worked for in the past, an organization that a family member works for, or an organization you would like to work for in the future. Consult your instructor if you have questions about a suitable organization for the project.
A key part of consulting activities is clarification of expectations with the client. Those expectations are then formalized into a contract. For the purposes of this skills-building exercise (each week during the course), we will assume that the client has asked to receive a series of memos as progress and planning updates for the project. We will also assume that the client has asked you to focus on individual, team, and leadership development in the organization. Each week during the course, you will be preparing a one or two page memo to post in the forum for instructor and peer review.
Here you can find some good tips on memo writing.
As needed for the organization you select for the project and your weekly memos, you may either use the real leader (e.g., CEO) or a hypothetical top leader as your client.
It is recommended that you look at each week’s skills project and work ahead. Some assignments might take you more than two or three days to arrange and complete (e.g., interviews). In other words, your deliverable (memo) is due on day four of each week, but the planning and execution required to complete the deliverable might take you more than a couple of days to complete.
In an organizational diagnosis and development project, a consultant usually begins with a scouting stage. In the scouting stage, the consultant gets to know the client and the expectations. Additionally, the consultant will often observe organizational activities, conduct some interviews, and read available organizational documents to get a feel for processes, attitudes, and potential areas for attention. The scouting stage helps the consultant develop some initial ideas about areas for improvement. Then, the consultant can design data collection (which you will do in next week’s work) to confirm those ideas or identify other concerns.
In this week’s work, you will do an opening assessment (i.e., scouting) of your organization. Research answers to the following issues (bullet point questions below). You may use your own observations, interviews with other organizational members, internet research, and research in organizational documents as part of your review. Due to time constraints for the project, you may also include hypothetical data as needed to fill in some gaps. However, you should do your best to collect as much real data as possible. The following themes should guide the planning and execution of your scouting work.
Prepare a one to two page (500 to 1000 words, singlespaced) scouting memo that synthesizes the issues and the most important opportunities for organizational development