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Practicing Organization Development: Leading Transformation and Change, 4th Edition by Roland L. Sullivan, Jacqueline M. Stavros, William J. Rothwell

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Chapter EightEntry

Marketing and Positioning Organization Development

Alan Weiss

Most organization development (OD) practitioners fail to realize that they are in the marketing business. Consultants cannot get work because they believe marketing is not required. Average OD consultants are doing well because they recognize the importance of marketing and can do it. Consultants who are great marketers can name their fee. Which group would you rather be in?

Even when you work internally, you should not sit back and wait for employee line areas to call you. You must analyze the organization from a business perspective and proactively recommend to executives what can be done to improve productivity. This chapter will enable you to: determine your value proposition, identify your buyer, establish routes to reach that buyer, achieve conceptual agreement, and create a proposal to close business.

Determining Your Value Proposition

There are three critical factors to embrace when attempting to market professional services: (1) What is the market need? (2) What are your competencies? and (3) What is your passion?

What Is the Market Need?

This is the essence of marketing. There may be a preexisting need—for example, sales development or leadership improvement is typically needed. Or, you can create a need, such as satisfying employees before satisfying the customer. Since OD is an often nebulous and inexact concept, it is vital to create a clear value proposition.

A value proposition ...

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