Consulting Skills Update. Presenter: Alex Mackenzie, MA, MFT, CEAP Director, Health and Performance Solutions. September 24, 2007. Alex Mackenzie has worked for ValueOptions for four years as an Advisor, Account Manager, and HPS Director.
Presenter: Alex Mackenzie, MA, MFT, CEAP
Director, Health and Performance Solutions
September 24, 2007
Prior to ValueOptions, Alex held positions as an HR Director, specializing in Organizational Effectiveness in a Fortune 100 Financial Services Firm, as a Senior Consultant for a large, international HR consulting firm; and Manager of Organizational Services for an internal Employee Assistance Program.
Little known fact: Alex’s first professional career was as a FORTRAN computer programmer
A fan of continuous learning, Alex has taught MBA and masters-level Organizational Psychology classes through UC Berkeley Extension, and Golden Gate University, and is coauthor of a textbook chapter on Group Therapy for Domestic Violence Offenders.
Alex is an avid reader, and a rabid skier.Presenter Bio
and mutual expectations
Success based on pre-agreed measures
Part of a joint effort to produce results
Valued for impact on organization’s performance
Eyes and ears, provides honest feedback to the client
Unclear whether successful or not
Does all the work
Feels like a “hired gun”
Often deploys the wrong “solution”
Advantages of Employing
Bad News: The perception is that human factors interventions and expenditures are “nice to have,” as opposed to key strategic contributionsGood News, Bad News
Your partnership can help your clients connect the dots,
articulating the contribution to the bottom line.
Do your homework first– consider alternative sources
Well-used situation questions help determine what problems/opportunities to pursue.
These questions build the relationship by conveying your interest in the client’s world
Examples of situation questions:
How is success or performance measured in your function/group?
What keeps you awake at night?
What is your vision for next year?
What measurements do you use?
What do your customers– internal and external value most?
What would people have to do to meet that goal?
What is changing?
What barriers do you see?
What is your team hitting home runs on, and what do they need to improve upon?
What is the impact of <technology, legal, market, strategic> changes?
How are you meeting those changes?
How do your numbers compare to <goals, the industry, last year>?
What have you tried so far?
Tell me about yourself and how this relates to your business and career goals
Examples of Problem Questions:
How satisfied are you with_______
Are there specific areas you think could improve?
Are you worried about what will happen now that _____?
Where are breakdowns likely to occur?
Do you have the right people with the right skills?
Are you concerned about whether people will change fast enough?
How often does <this problem> arise?
How quickly do you need to respond?
How are the costs and schedule looking, compared to the plans?
I can see how that might be a problem for <function-1>, but how might it also effect <function-2>?
The purpose of asking is to
Focus on results
Build motivation and commitment to mutual expectations
Prioritize to maximize the value you add!
Examples of Implication questions:
Could that development lead to greater risk of ________
How might that effect cost, quality, competitiveness, turnover?
What would growth look like with/without our intervention?
Could that lead to increased _______
Would that lead to higher/lower speed to___________
How does that effect your workload? Hours? Stress level? Career? How you’re seen?
Examples of Need-Payoff Questions:
How much of a savings would this mean?
What other opportunities would this allow you to pursue that you can’t now?
How important is that?
Where would that put you relative to the competition?
How would that help provide the infrastructure for growth?Need-Payoff Questions
Need Question_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Case Vignette
Conduct further assessment
Deploy interventions including
Serve as an expert resource
Provide means of assessing results
Provide honest feedback
Administer satisfaction surveys
Administer pre and post tests
Take additional measures
Preview and provide feedback on materials
Provide honest feedbackMutual Expectations(To Meet the expressed need,…)
Facilitation (including telephonic/Webex)
Customization and selection of training content
Choosing a presenter
Measuring impactAdditional Skills
Critical Incident Response
Drug Free Workplace Cases
Fitness for Duty
Employee Threat of Violence
Don’t be afraid to be directive
Act in concert with HR and company policy
Help manager focus by asking open ended questions
Remember to ask how the manager is doingNuts and Bolts:Providing Subject Matter Expertise
SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
Organization Development by William Rothwell
The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by Peter Senge
HPS Policy and Procedure
The Team Handbook by Peter Scholtes
Organizational Behavior, an Experiential Approach by David Kolb (or anything by Kolb, really)
On Organizational Learning by Chris Argyris (or anything by Argyris!)
See also, anything on Competencies on Lominger or DDIWORLD websitesAdditional Resources