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Humble Consulting

Book Description

Consulting in Complex and Changing Times

Organizations face challenges today that are too messy and complicated for consultants to simply play doctor: run a few tests, offer a neat diagnosis of the “problem,” and recommend a solution. Edgar Schein argues that consultants have to jettison the old idea of professional distance and work with their clients in a more personal way, emphasizing authentic openness, curiosity, and humility. Schein draws deeply on his own decades of experience, offering over two dozen case studies that illuminate each stage of this humble consulting process. Just as he did with Process Consultation nearly fifty years ago, Schein has once again revolutionized the field, enabling consultants to be more genuinely helpful and vastly more effective.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. 1 I Am the Consultant, and I Don’t Know What to Do!
    1. CASE 1 Culture Change in Beta Power Company
  8. 2 What Is New in Humble Consulting?
  9. 3 The Need for a Trusting and Open Level Two Relationship
    1. CASE 2 Good Intentions, Not Much Help: The Engineering Interviews
    2. CASE 3 Adventures with Digital Equipment Corporation
    3. CASE 4 Implementing a New IT Technology in Bank Operations
  10. 4 Humble Consulting Begins with the First Conversation
    1. CASE 5 Reframing Whether to Develop a Culture Analysis Template
    2. CASE 6 Creating a Client through a Process Suggestion—Alpha Power Company
    3. CASE 7 Mass Audubon Board Task Force—A Personalization Success
    4. CASE 8 The Cambridge-at-Home Committee—A Personalization Failure
  11. 5 Personalization: Enhancing the Level Two Relationship
    1. CASE 9 Helping to Personalize Teaching at MIT
    2. CASE 10 Levels of Involvement with Ciba-Geigy
    3. CASE 11 The Executive Coaching Dilemma—Who Is the Client?
    4. CASE 12 An Unfortunate Personalization Mistake
  12. 6 The Humble Consulting Focus on Process
    1. CASE 13 A Question That Restructured Alcoa Australia
    2. CASE 14 The Team-Building Retreat in the Quincy Plant of Proctor & Gamble
    3. CASE 15 Abandoning Building a Team Culture in a Sales Organization
    4. CASE 16 Successfully Reducing Engineering Turnover in the General Electric Lynn Plant
    5. CASE 17 How to Assess and “Evaluate” Culture in a Sales Organization
    6. CASE 18 Successfully Reducing Headquarters–Field Problems in the Internal Revenue Service
  13. 7 The New Kinds of Adaptive Moves
    1. CASE 19 Safety Issues in Alpha Power
    2. CASE 20 Reducing the Number of Deaths in the US Forest Service
    3. CASE 21 Helping INPO Provide Better Help in Working with Nuclear Plants
    4. CASE 22 Successful and Failed Adaptive Moves—DEC’s Strategy Revisited
    5. CASE 23 Creating a Different Kind of Conversation in Saab Combitech
    6. CASE 24 The Use of Dialogue in Shell’s Exploration and Production Division
    7. CASE 25 The Ad Hoc Lunch Group in the Academic Medical Center
  14. Concluding Comments—Some Final Thoughts on How to Be Really Helpful
  15. References
  16. Acknowledgments
  17. Index
  18. The Author—in His Own Words