This paper provides an overview of the OD consultation process in which I worked as an outside consultant for the Delta Security Administration (DSA). The DSA is the primary security agency responsible for the protection of government officials and government properties, worldwide. Twenty years ago, Congress transferred supervisory control of the DSA from military to civilian personnel. This decision transformed the demographic composition of the workforce from an all military white-male dominant workforce to a segmented workforce in which the leadership level of the organization retained the same demographic composition, while the non-leadership levels evolved to become a highly diverse workforce in which minorities came to represent a significant part of the lower level and mid-level employees. Today, the organization is facing a series of challenges that have put the viability of the organization at risk. The challenges include an outdated mission, lack of technology innovation, low employee morale, and interrelationship conflicts between employees.
This paper engages in a step-by-step discussion and analysis of the OD consultation process implemented at the DSA, including: (a) entry and contracting, (b) data gathering, (c) diagnosis and feedback, (d) interventions, (e) evaluation, and (f) ending.
This paper analyzes the current challenges facing the DSA and identifies the three major issues affecting the DSA as: (a) resistance to change, (b) discrimination and exclusion, and (c) low employee engagement and work performance. These issues will be explored in-depth to identify the underlying problems, and to create interventions that ultimately will create a positive change at the DSA.
Finally, this paper discusses my strengths and weaknesses as an OD consultant. First, it discusses my strengths in the entry and contracting phase, which are listening, communicating and negotiating skills that I developed during my experience as an agency recruiter. The paper concludes with a discussion about the areas in which my OD skills require growth, and describes the steps I have taken to improve in these areas so that I will possess with requisite skills to be productive in the OD consultation industry.
Entry and Contracting
The entry and contracting stage is the initial phase in the consulting process. During the entry phase, the client and consultant meet in connection with the consultation for the first time. The entry phase carries great significance because it is the period of time in which the foundation of the relationship with the client is built. The strength of the foundation will play a critical role in the ultimate success of the consultation process (Anderson, 2012, p.104). The initial phase of trust building is characterized by the elements of uncertainty and doubt. It is imperative that a consultant successfully overcomes these elements to build initial trust in a business relationship because in most scenarios important foundational tasks, which require trust between parties, are executed in the initial phase.
In an effort to build trust, my preliminary strategy would be to craft my initial presentation to the DSA based on the mechanisms and processes described in the Initial Trust-Building Model. The Initial Trust-Building Model, created by McKnight (1998), describes the development of trust between parties during the initial phase of a relationship. The model presents several cognitive processes and social categorization mechanisms through which trust is built prior to any interaction between the individuals. These processes and mechanisms are (a) reputational inference, which describes a situation in which an individual assumes positive traits about the trustee based second-hand information; (b) in-group categorization, which describes a situation in which an individual places the trustee in the same group as oneself, and then assigns the positive attributes of oneself to the