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The Relationship between Culture, Consulting, and Assessing in Organizations   

By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, MBA, MAOP

To assess properly a need for change within a diverse organizational culture the coach or consultant must understand the dynamics of cultural diversity, and the interrelationship between coaching, group coaching, and organizational coaching in organizations.  When dealing with diverse populations within an organization a coach or consultant must have a working knowledge of how cultural diversity, individual and group coaching, organizational consulting, and assessment of outcomes is imperative for proper successful interventions.

Individual Coaching, Group Coaching, and Organizational Coachingstrategy

In a previous article, Coaching and Consulting in Organizations the discussion outlined three different organizational levels that a coach or consultant must work with.  The primary topic of discussion consisted of a review of Cummings and Worley’s interpretation that individual coaching is an intervention designed to improve the competencies of individual organizational members through support, commitment, feedback, new opinions or views of the organization, and if necessary creating new ways of relating and communicating with people (i).  Group coaching or intervention is a series of open meetings to listen, discuss, and enhance organizational communication.  Discussion is geared toward opinions for potential solutions to problems.  A major benefit to group coaching is the ability to identify group think.  These interventions assist in understanding what changes are needed when employees lost sight of the original vision of the company.  If employees are stuck in a traditional group think mode and cannot identify with the organizations vision and mission a group discussion is the best way to re-establish the desired culture the organization is looking to establish or re-establish.

Organizational consulting can be described as a planned process to bring about large-scale organizational change (ii).  Large group intervention involves bringing together key groups of organizational members with a recognized need to make change.  Examples of an organizational change process can include larger-system level and inter-organizational levels. High involvement organizational interception incorporates aspects of several interventions.  This coaching or consulting process begins at the individual level, advances to the group level, and completion is obtained at the organizational level (iii).  The belief of organizational interception is that people are organizations most important asset, and they need to be involved for change processes to succeed. Intervention at each organizational level is imperative to assess individual, group, and organizational needs to create a plan for change.  Incorporating cultural diversity awareness on these levels is an important consideration with today’s diversified workforces.

Coaching Diverse Populations

Diversity is today’s workforce, leaders and coaches must become more effective at managing and responding to conflicts of diversity appropriately.  If proper response and intervention is achieved that one can maintain a positive and productive multi-cultural environment (iv).   The greater percentage of research conducted is focused on gender and concluded that today’s workforce consists of race, age, disability, and sexual orientation.  If leaders cannot respond to diverse populations, organizations risk missing opportunities and potential for success.  The coaching relationship is a dynamic relationship.  Coaching is a partnership designed to support people as the take action to change.  Coaching is a learning process that needs to be applied to real-life real-world situations.  As with all coaching methodologies the importance of individual coaching, group coaching, or organizational coaching from a cultural perspective is extremely personal and imperative when facing specific global issues.

Cross-cultural coaching on an individual level requires formal and global skills training.  Individual needs may consist of adjusting to a foreign environment, family transitions into a new environment, cross-cultural conflict resolution, and managing diversity within a culturally diverse environment. Further stated are the opportunities that arise when coaching or consulting diverse populations in a group environment (v).  These group environments allows one the opportunity to learn from and support one another.  Coaching the group to both support and challenge the participants to determine issues, identify goals, and set long-term goals is an important aspect of group coaching.  Culturally training during group sessions the participants should be asked open-ended questions and should share experiences and ideas.  The Group environment should provide a safe learning environment that supports and challenges new ideas and beliefs without offending any participants.  Debriefing and discussion on follow-up sessions will allow the participants to reflect on new information and ideas and will allow the opportunity to discuss any new challenges that have been identified.

Coaching diverse populations in organizations consists of more than just cultural diversity.   Managers always have to learn to lead team members of different races, religions, and more important different age groups and gender.  A good coaching relationship will allow leaders to learn how to find common ground between the members of all of these different groups.  Different strategies and techniques for coaching to gender and generational differences consist of middle aged persons coaching newly hired youth.  Youth will seek advice for elders who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share, and creating teams where all genders must interact.

Assessing Outcomes

To measure accurately the success of coaching and consulting interventions, using a highly effective way to assess outcomes within an organization consists of including feedback on finding, survey results, and recommendations.  Assessments are an excellent resource toward change implementation. Organizational assessments will allow both the coach and client to understand better the developmental needs of the organization.  Assessments provide the information needed to appropriately design intervention strategies such as focus groups, management and employee interviews, and internal surveys. Assessments are a measurement of performance across multiple organizational dimensions such as leadership, culture, and quality.  Feedback of the results of these intervention strategies help both the coach and client to understand the climate and need for change.  Assessments provide important information regarding both employee and organizational strengths and weaknesses.  This information allows the coach and client to create a change strategy that targets specific areas for improvement.  The importance of assessing coaching and consulting intervention success includes implementing a survey process that should be conducted six months to one year after the implementation of the change process to assess proper outcomes.

Conclusion

As discussed effective coaching, consulting, or intervention requires appropriate assessment and planning.  The intervention needs to meet the needs of the business and intended outcomes need to be precise and clearly communicated throughout the organization.  The purpose of interventions is to identify existing problems within an organization.  The ability to identify issues and concerns is the first step of implementing change. Engaging coworkers and employees to improve organizational culture, leadership, engagement, strategy diversity will allow for innovation and improved performance.  The interrelationship of coaching and consulting to different levels and cultures that exist within organization allows a consultant to raise engagement, awareness that will define the organizations behaviors and outcomes.

Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, MBA, MAOP


References:
(i) Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G., (2008), Organization development and change. (9th ed.) South-Western Cengage Learning.
(ii) Burke, W.W. (2008). Organization change, theory and practice. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
(iii) Rothwell, J.R., Sullivan, R., & McLean, G.N., (1995), Practicing Organization Development, A guide for consultants, Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer, San Francisco.
(iv) Daft, R. (2011), The leadership experience. (5th ed.). Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.
(v) Lundrigan, M., Tangsuvanich, V., Yu, L., Wu, S., and Mujtaba, B., (2012)., Coaching a Diverse Workforce: The Impact of Changing Demographics for Modern Leaders, Retrieved from, http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_2_No_3_February_2012/6.pdf.


How to cite this article:  
Nuzzolo, V.E., (2016).  The Relationship between Culture, Consulting, and Assessing in Organizations. Retrived from, https://risetoshinetoday.org/2016/06/07/6833/

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