Organizational Consulting

What Is It?

Organizational development consulting can be used to address the whole organization or a subcomponent such as a division, branch, team, or workgroup. Your call to action may be a long-term, large scale change effort. For example, you need to merge two companies or consolidate two divisions and need help facilitating a change in culture to support this. Or you need a short-term, targeted solution, like off-site planning for your leadership team. Or you have a new project that requires a fast-start by a matrixed team.

How Does It Work in Reality?

Here are a few real life examples drawn from 5Ten’s experience:

Offsite Retreat

A senior leadership team for a non-profit agency wanted a two-day off-site retreat to improve communication and teamwork. While relationships were mostly cordial, the group operated largely independently with the COO serving as the gatekeeper for communications and collaboration. The CEO and COO also wanted to create a shift in their viewpoints, moving from their individual functional areas to an organization-wide perspective.

The Myers-Briggs assessment tool – both individual and team profile reports – helped launch real, unvarnished, and often humorous conversations about individual preferences and the impact they have on the team and team results. Additional guided conversations, exercises, and discussion of a cross-cutting organization issue helped this team come together in a new, more powerful and effective way.

They left with a greater understanding and appreciation of one another and clear commitments/actions to strengthen collaboration between their groups and across the organization.

Bad Survey Results

Employee Viewpoint Survey results for a federal agency tumbled downward in successive years. Top concerns included leadership and communications, as well as opportunities for promotion and career enrichment.

By facilitating follow-up conversations with small groups of employees and managers, we helped the office understand the root causes driving the dissatisfaction and provided targeted solutions, which included many employee-generated ideas, such as lunch-and-learn sessions, and the creation of formal career and professional development paths.

Transitioning from a Technical to a Leadership Role

Roles and responsibilities were expanding and changing for a group within a federal agency. The individuals were moving from being technical contributors to team leaders.

5Ten facilitated a series of 2-4 hour workshops to discuss and define expectations, clarify processes and work flow, define each role and level of authority and decision making, and identify and prioritize skill development needs and training solutions. This partnered approach with management supported their transition process and engaged the team leaders amidst the daily operation.

Broken Trust

A supervisor struggled with low levels of trust and collaboration within her team. Individually, she had good performers, yet two camps had formed, fueled by past events, specialization of work, gossip, back channel politics, and the supervisor’s management style.

We began by conducting one-on-one interviews and providing the picture and main themes to the team for their feedback and validation. Then building on their ideas and solutions, we facilitated partner and total team conversations. The supervisor participated in individual coaching, and we did spot team training on topics such as giving feedback and promised-based management.

Ultimately, the team came together in new, more effective, and collegial ways. They created a Team Agreement with expectations and norms for behaviors to maintain trust, communication and a positive team environment.

What’s the 5Ten Approach?

Our job is to sit down and talk with you – to understand and explore what you see, how you see it, what you want for the future and why it matters. We’ll bring fresh eyes and a pair of hands to support you in bringing forth your vision for your organization, department, team or group.

Backed by 30+ years of experience, both as internal and external consultants, we are grounded in organization development and change management theory as well as action research. We bring a practical, systems approach to understanding and addressing your specific needs. We help you solve problems and work your organization out of a challenge or into a new opportunity. And we develop your capacity to address future issues on your own.

At 5Ten, we know how to connect and help folks have important conversations in a way that makes them feel invited, engaged, respected, and seen. It’s just who we are.