Organizational Consulting

origin & application

What is an Organization?

Organizations are smaller or larger groups of people pursuing a common goal and cooperating to fulfill a joint task. The success of an organization, such as a family business, government agency, department of or entire industrial company, depends largely on the following factors:

  • a) how the organization is managed and led
  • b) how the mission statement is implemented
  • c) whether everyone in the organization is pulling in the same direction
  • d) how satisfied the members of the organization are with their work and work situation
  • e) whether and how conflicts within the organization are recognized, dealt with and resolved
  • f) whether the structure of the organization fits the task
  • g) how the organization presents itself to the public

Given the diverse aspects of an organization, Organizational Consulting is a wide and large field. It ranges from advising leaders of the organization, to assisting in the creation of a viable, sustainable and motivating mission statement, to recognizing, working through and resolving destructive, inhibiting and paralyzing internal conflicts, to providing structural, organizational and staff analysis of the whole organization with a view to increasing productivity and improving the work climate, the organizational processes, the communication and internal relationships, as well as the staffing composition at all levels of the organization.

Organizational Consulting is a mandate given to the Organizational Consultant by an organization and regulated by written contract. This mandate can vary greatly in scope depending on the size of the organization and the range, depth and complexity of the problems to be solved. Therefore, each acceptance of a mandate is preceded by precise clarifications in order to define the mandate in an optimal and target-oriented manner.

After first clarifying discussions and information gathering, and depending on the needs and goals of the organization, the consultant submits an offer, specifying the objectives of the consulting process, the services to be delivered by the consultant, the cooperation setting (single sessions with leaders vs. group/team sessions, implementation steps, evaluation, etc.), as well as the fee.

After acceptance of the offer and conclusion of the contract, full payment of the fee is due.

Organizational Consulting is a circular process that proceeds through several steps: Creating a Vision – Buildung trust – Problem Analysis – Proposal of Solutions – Implementation of concrete change, Evaluation, and so on. This process may run through several cycles until the goal is reached.

A change process usually follows characteristic stages:

  1. VISION – Creating a vision: What is the goal and the change the organization strives for?
  2. TRUST – Building trust between consultant and organization and self-efficacy belief within the organization: Yes, we can!
  3. PROBLEM ANALYSIS: Analyzing the problems of the organization, the manifest and the hidden ones!
  4. SOLUTION: Developing solutions, strategies and tactics
  5. IMPLEMENTATION: Defining and implementing concrete steps of change
  6. EVALUATION: Evaluating of the results: Success or failure?
  7. ITERATION: If success is insufficient, iterating steps 3 to 6!

My approach to Organizational Consulting is based upon my solid knowledge of Sociology, Systems Theory, Organizational Psychology, and Psychoanalysis. The latter is especially important for understanding unconscious processes in organizations (power structures, personality traits of leaders, unconscious inhibiting beliefs and myths, problems of generational change in family businesses, etc.).

Organizational Consulting only succeeds when a strong relationship of trust is established between the leaders of the organization and the consultant. I therefore pay special attention to the sometimes unintentional resistances to any kind of change. It is pivotal that these should be openly put on the table and discussed from the very beginning. It is precisely the subliminal and unexpressed resistances that may sabotage a change process. I encourage all members of the organization to face the challenges posed by a profound analysis of the organization’s existing problems and to engage in a transformational process.

FAQ - Organizational Consulting

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Organizational Consulting and Supervision?

Organizational Consulting has a broader and more complex objective than Supervision. Supervision aims at fostering the communication and conflict culture within a group or team by means of intense group meetings. Organization Consulting may include supervisory elements, but aims at changing the organization more profoundly and structurally, transforming the processes, the working climate, the organizational structure, the mission statement, the underlying visions, the internal communication culture as well as the outreach to the public.

When does Organizational Consulting make sense?

Organizational Consulting may be helpful and needed when an organization has fundamental organizational, structural and communicative problems which have led to an impasse or threaten to do so. Typical situations are paralyzing power struggles, inadequate and outdated leadership structures and styles, inefficient organizational processes, and problems in the transition to the next generation in family businesses.

Are there different models of Organizational Consulting?

Organizational Consulting is always tailored in its objectives and scope to the respective concrete problems of an organization. Systemic and Psychoanalytic instruments, Consulting, Supervision, Single Executive Coachings, Seminars with the Executive Board, etc. come together in a package of measures, weighted differently in importance depending on the problems and goals encountered.

What does Organizational Consulting Cost?

Expenses are billed at an hourly rate of CHF 350. All services are listed and included in the offer and contract. The flat rate can vary considerably, depending on the problem complexity and scope of the mandate.