A Model of Development
 Stages of Development
 Cognitive Maps
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All unusual terms on this website are explained in detail in the Glossary.
We suggest you print it for reference
while reading our papers. Press the Glossary link above for a copy.
  This section of the website contains detailed descriptions of nine advanced, Perspectivist-Stage Consulting Services we offer, along with Case Studies illustrating them in real life.

However, our consulting work is not limited to these nine Services. We often mix and match Services, parts of Services, or mini-versions of Services when the situation calls for it. In addition, we customize our Services to adapt them to the exact needs of our clients, and even design entirely new Services for them when the situation calls for it.

These Service Descriptions and Case Studies are far more specific and thorough than the marketing pieces that management consulting companies usually provide. They are written to give potential clients enough information to see whether one or more of our Services may meet their needs. Therefore, they are not sales pitches. They are informative essays about the subject matter the service addresses, approached from an innovative and sophisticated perspective. Each contains the following information:
      •  Introduction, summary, and overview of the Service
  •  Explanation of this branch of management consulting
  •  Problems that may indicate a need for the Service
  •  How the Service goes about solving these problems
  •  Benefits with graphs of potential & actual results
  •  How the Service differs from conventional alternatives
  •  Who the Service is for
  •  Service modes used: assist, advise, coach, or develop
  •  Cognitive maps used in the Service
  •  Developmental Stage of the Service
  A very important paper, “Six Questions Clients Need to Ask When Selecting a Management-Consulting Company, Along with Our Answers,” is also included. It is the first paper in the section, because it answers all the general questions about our consulting Services, so they don’t have to be answered repeatedly in each Service Descrip-
tion. It describes who we are, what we do, how we do it, and how we do it differently.

Please read this paper first, before reading the Service Descriptions and Case Studies. It will make them much more understandable. It also fills in the rest of the information common to all our Services.

The best service to do first is usually “Diagnostic Assessment.”SM It is the most reliable way to find out what the problems and opportunities for improvement really are, before performing a service that may otherwise turn out to be the wrong choice.
  Contents of This Section  
  Here are the papers containing the material for this section of the website. The papers are grouped by topic. They are in pdf format for convenience in printing. Please press the View button next to the title of each paper to view and print it. We suggest printing, rather than reading on the screen.
 “Six Questions Clients Need to Ask
     When Selecting a Management-Consulting Co.,
     Along with Our Answers”
1. Who our Services are for: which individuals & kinds of groups
2. The type of management consulting we do
3. How our Services work—the experience of working with us
4. Explanation of the 4 consulting-modes, with pros & cons of each
5. Our qualifications: knowledge, skill, & development
6. Results to be expected & the cognitive map of End-Results
 “Diagnostic Assessment”SM  
      A service that may sound familiar, but is actually highly unusual. Not a survey or simplistic typology-test to pigeonhole an organization.

A sophisticated investigation that looks beyond apparent symptoms to discover underlying causes of problems. An assessment based on a broad range of sound criteria to evaluate performance. Leads to discovery of good opportunities to improve performance.

A “meta-service” that tells you what other services, if any, might be useful. Usually the best service to do first.

  Organizational Design & Structure  
 “Organizational Structure”SM  
      Not a way merely to reshuffle the deck chairs. A careful analysis of potential problems with existing formal and informal organizational structure. An evaluation of present structure against a solid set of criteria for structural quality.

Based on a sophisticated understanding of what organizational structure really is and what it is for: a mapping of the organization’s purposes onto its people for the sake of facilitating collaboration towards its ends.

Uses very advanced maps for effective structures, not the old standbys of functional, cross-functional, or matrix. Includes recommendations for improving structure that result in more effective collaboration and higher performance, plus help in implementing these recommendations.

 “Audit of Organizational Fundamentals”SM  
      A very unusual service, designed for management, analysts, and investors. Supplements the financial and market-factor analyses and evaluations usually performed for potential investors. Improves reliability of predictions of future performance. Also enables management to be sure the fundamentals of the organization are sound.

These nine fundamentals constitute the minimum requirements for any group of people actually to be and to function as a true organization. When any of these fundamentals is inadequate, the organization degenerates into individuals merely pursuing their own self-interests.

The Audit assesses each fundamental against state-of-the-art criteria, uncovers any critical deficiencies, and makes recommendations to remedy them.

 “Planning, Forming, & Launching”SM  
      Provides expertise usually lacking in planning, forming, and launching a new venture—whether project, team, department, company, partnership, alliance, or joint venture. Contributes management and organizational expertise to the organizers’ content-expertise.

Uses a new, much more effective methodology than otherwise available. Goes far beyond a “business plan” and “kickoff meetings.” Produces a sound, realistic, comprehensive plan that is appropriate for the new organization. Involves the right people to begin to form the core of the new organization, working candidly with them to improve and support the plan. Prepares and handles the launch meetings to begin to implement the plan at the next levels in the organization.

Uses the “Nine Organizational Fundamentals”—the essential elements—to ensure the planning, forming, and launching of a real, functioning organization that can accomplish its objectives. Takes into account its purposes, abilities, self-interests, structure, and communication systems.

Helps get the new group or organization off to the best possible start as quickly as possible, identifying and solving any problems, conflicts, or obstacles to its launch before they become set in designs and plans. Anticipates all the important things that should be anticipated. Ensures clarity and enthusiastic support among participants.
  Collaboration & Relationships  
 “Conflict Resolution”  
      Unresolved problems reduce performance, because they interfere with effective communication and collaboration. This service offers a highly unconventional and unusually effective approach to resolving conflicts between individuals and within and between groups, both inside and outside a company. Works for recent and chronic conflicts.

Reframes conflicts as joint problems. Gets people involved in solving them together. Brings advanced problem-solving methodology, communication skills, and organizational expertise to this process, with a practical focus on improving business performance. Highly cost-effective.

The result is that the parties’ problems that caused the conflict get resolved quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction, without compromise. As a side benefit, people come to understand each other better, improve their working relationships, and lay a foundation for future collaboration.
 “Stakeholder Analysis”SM  
      Many organizations are not really clear who all their stakeholders are, much less what they want. Yet, satisfying stakeholders is obviously essential to success. But how can an organization satisfy them without knowing who they are and what they want? Without this information, an organization cannot make good plans, because they are an expression of how it intends to satisfy its stakeholders. Further, what can an organi-
zation do when pulled in different directions by conflicting stakeholder desires? This is a common problem.

An organization is really just a vehicle for connecting the abilities and desires of some people (“Providers”: its members and suppliers) with the desires of others (“Recipients”: mainly customers, but also owners, the community, and sometimes regulators). All these groups constitute its stakeholders: those with an vested interest in what the organization does and how well it performs.

Using skillful communication, interviewing, and analytical techniques, this service ascertains accurately and candidly who these people are, what they really want, and how satisfied they really are. It goes on to uncover and resolve conflicts among stakeholders. Finally, it assesses how well the organization’s plans match its stakeholders’ desires, and helps adjust plans for a better fit.
  Information & Communication  
 “Information & Communication Audit”SM  
      Nothing is more critical to an organization’s success than how well it uses information. When needed, accurate information is not flowing freely to the right people at the right time in the right way, good performance is difficult or impossible. Therefore, spotting and correcting these problems can produce spectacular improvements in performance.

This unique service leads to an important new understanding of an organization as an “Information System.” It analyzes and maps its internal and external information flows or communication circuits. This is the best way to spot information problems, assess communication effectiveness, and improve informational functioning.

It reveals the nodes, content moving between nodes, and channels that are sluggish, blocked, or just missing. Assesses the quality of the information flows: its accuracy, timeliness, understandability, usefulness, redundancy, consistency, and potential to generate conflict. Identifies missing, loose, or ineffective feedback loops; these can allow serious errors to go unchecked and cause major problems. Evaluates how information is organized, plus its ease of access, reliability, and security. Checks how well members are making use of the information available.

This is an absolutely vital service for most organizations. Nothing remotely like it is available anywhere else. Not any form of “business-process analysis” or “knowledge management.” Applies both inside and outside a group or organization. Includes recommendations to solve problems discovered and make major improvements, plus help in implementing these recommendations.
 “Strategic Aims”SM  
      Not another tired, old, Strategic-Planning service. Explains the three conventional types of strategic planning and how this service is different.

The service checks for indications that the organization’s strategic aims need work, such as drifting, people pulling in different directions, or unsatisfactory progress. Evaluates quality of definitions of aims.

Helps organizations improve the quality of their strategic aims, get back on track, be able to monitor performance, and make good progress. Ensures that the strategic aims really guide the organization, not just hang on the wall.

Suitable for entire organizations, divisions, departments, joint ventures, or large projects.

 “Value-centric Environmental Planning”SM  
      An entirely new methodology for Environmental-Remediation Strategic-
Planning (ERSP). Far more sophisticated and effective than all conven-
tional methods. The service focuses on measuring and increasing business Value to the site owner.

This Service Description is quite detailed. It explains the fundamentals of this field, clears up common confusions, defines critical concepts, and lays out the basic equations for calculating liabilities, risks, and solutions to environmental problems.

It defines the true goals of all ERSP and demonstrates the most useful format for strategic plans. It has a detailed section on cumulative probability-distributions for liabilities and risks. It describes the three main types of ERSP in use today, with pros and cons of each. The paper makes a good, sophisticated introduction to the whole discipline of ERSP.

The service is designed for managers in companies with environmental liabilities and risks, project managers working on reducing them, and risk assessors in insurance companies that insure against environmental risks. The service is suitable for developing new strategic plans, evalu-
ating and improving existing ones, or just assessing liabilities and risks.

Developmental Consulting, Inc., Copyright ©2005-2010 Dennis Emberling