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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.
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.
Week 1: Scouting Memo
Week 1 Assignment:
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.
Planning and Execution:
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.
-What is the organization? What does it do/what is its purpose?
-How well does your organization develop its members? Does it appear to operate from a comprehensive PDP?
-What evidence or symptoms do you see that support your conclusion (about whether your organization develops its members)?
-What are some of the possible reasons why your organization does or does not develop its members well?
-Who would need to get involved to improve your organization’s development philosophy and practices?
-What benefits might individuals in the organization experience if a more robust developmental philosophy and practices were in place?
-What benefits might the organization experience if a more robust development philosophy and practices were in place?
-Where are the most important opportunities for organizational development (remember, the focus of the project is the professional development needs of

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