Bob Baker

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Bob
 Baker:
 MBA
 student
 and
 Internal
 Consultant
 
  Introduction
  The
 case,
 a
 conversation
 between
 the
 MBA
 professor
 and
 Bob,
 is
 very
 fluidic
 in
  nature
 and
 hence
 interest-­‐sustaining.
 It
 brings
 into
 light
 some
 ‘not
 so
 complex’,
  yet
 important
 issues
 that
 Steelco
 is
 facing.
 The
 semantic
 gap
 in
 communication
 at
  Steelco,
  as
  described
  by
  Bob
  is
  a
  major
  concern
  in
  many
  organizations.
  The
  issues,
  the
  role
  of
  organization
  staff
  and
  Bob
  are
  thought
  provoking
  and
  definitely
 informative.
 
 
  Bob’s
 Approach
 
  The
  balanced
  approach
  that
  Bob
  assumed
  is
  an
  example
  of
  the
  ‘The
  Process
  Consultant”
  style1
  of
  consulting.
  Given
  that
  Bob
  was
  an
  MBA
  student
  on
  a
  summer
  job
  for
  a
  period
  of
  few
  weeks,
  the
  company’s
  issues
  facilitated
  in
  providing
 Bob
 with
 a
 platform
 to
 test
 his
 knowledge
 and
 practice
 his
 consulting
  skills;
  hence
  the
  P-­‐C
  style
  was
  an
  appropriate
  choice.
  The
  choice
  is
  also
  strengthened
 by
 the
 following
 reasons:
  • The
 Pneumonic
 Drive,
 factory
 and
 all
 other
 divisions/
 departments
 knew
  that
  things
  weren’t
  right
  but
  no
  one
  really
  knew
  the
  origins
  of
  the
  problem
 and
 the
 flaws
 in
 the
 system.
 
  • The
 staff
 wanted
 to
 solve
 the
 problems.
  • All
  the
  information
  was
  taken
  from
  the
  staff
  and
  consequently
  the
  organization
 as
 a
 whole
 was
 participating
 in
 solving
 the
 issues.
 
  Another
  aspect
  worth
  observing
  is
  Bob’s
  method
  of
  debriefing.
  Quite
  intelligently,
 he
 provokes
 the
 staff
 to
 deepen
 their
 insights
 to
 better
 understand
  the
  situation.
  In
  the
  conversation
  with
  the
  professor,
  he
  admits
  that
  he
  would
  often
 try
 to
 lead
 the
 staff
 to
 conclude
 based
 on
 their
 understanding
 rather
 than
  concluding
 himself.
 His
 interviewing
 techniques
 align
 well
 with
 the
 ‘tactical
 goals
  of
 intervention’2,
 as
 discussed
 in
 the
 class.
 They
 are:
  Exploratory
  Enquiry
  
  Diagnostic
  Enquiry
  
  Action
  Oriented
  Enquiry
  
  Suggestions
 
  Other
  than
  asking
  the
  right
  questions,
  Bob
  made
  sure
  he
  asked
  them
  to
  the
  right
  people.
 He
 listened
 to
 as
 well
 as
 gained
 confidence
 of
 people
 from
 all
 concerned
  departments
  which
  got
  him
  different
  perspectives
  and
  aided
  in
  understanding
  the
 bigger
 picture
 better.
 He
 also
 made
 sure
 that
 he
 advised
 to
 the
 right
 people
  (manufacturing
 manager/controller)
 as
 a
 result
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