Consulting Skills for Organizational Change (sp17)

Course ID: 

This course is for students of all disciplines who seek to improve their skills in consulting. During time in university, students have learned much but the challenge is now how to package their learning in a way that they can convince organizations that they can be of assistance. Many organizations need technical assistance and may be willing to try out a new graduate in short term consultancies. The course provides an overview of the consulting process and the skills that are needed to successfully assist organizations or enterprises to improve and grow. The new consultant may be a part of a larger consulting firm and the course will show those roles. However, the student may want to act as an individual in consulting. This course provides an overview of the consulting process. The participants become familiar with samples of Request for Proposals (RFPs) and how to write a proposal employing strategies that should provide them a competitive advantage. The course helps participants understand how to listen, analyze the client’s situation, and draw out what the client really wants and needs which is sometimes different from what they are asking for in their RFP. The contracting phase is not always straight forward and requires skills as each party moves forward toward an agreement. Participants will learn about the construction of a Scope of Work (SOW) with details of the goal, objectives, activities, reports, deliverables, timeline and milestones that are expected. The SOW provides the consultant and the hiring organization with the details of the work to be performed. Nevertheless, there are many skills that are required by an individual to succeed as a consultant that are never written into a SOW. The new consultant needs to be skilled at handling resistance to information sharing and figuring out how to move adeptly within the organization’s political culture. The type of research in consulting is different from that of required in much of academia. It has to be presented in a way that the client can decide which actions to take and the implications of doing so. Consultants need to learn not to focus only on decisions to be made but to make sure that the final phases of the consultancy bring in different sets of people in the organization so that there is a broad commitment to change.  The course uses cases, illustrates skills, and provides checklists that participants will find useful in their future work.  While the course is oriented to those who are external consultants to an organization, most of the skills will be useful to those who work within a large organization and are providing internal consulting to other units. Requires reading on Blackboard and an assignment in advance. No prerequisite.

Course Notes: 

Feb. 3 – 4, 2017     8:30 am – 5:45 pm
Open to All Graduate Level Students
Course Tuition fee of $750)

More Textbook Information: 

Texts can also be purchased from the Tulane University Official Campus Bookstore.

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