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.
- Week 1: Scouting Memo
- Week 2: Diagnosis Memo
- Week 3: Individual Interventions Memo
- Week 4: Team Interventions Memo
- Week 5: Leadership Development and Succession Interventions Memo Week 5: Leadership Development and Succession Interventions Memo
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.
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 members)?
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
- Review the memo tips guide linked in the instructions above.
- You do not need to provide a title page
- Copy and paste your memo into the Discussion Area dialogue box for peer review.
- Cite any resources using APA even though the rest of the paper is in memo format rather than APA
- Submit your response to the W1 Skills Discussion Area by the due date assigned.
- Provide at least two peer-review feedback responses to your classmates and a response to the instructor as required during the week.
- Responses should help evaluate the underlying issues in classmates’ organizations (e.g., Is there anything they seem to be missing? Other resources or ideas they should consider? Did it provide relevant opportunities for organizational development?) as well as the executive level communication of their memo (e.g., Was it clear? Did it synthesize the key issues?
- Was it persuasive? Supported?). Be professional in your responses to others.