What are some of the issues that arise
What are some of the issues that arise in an OD consultant-client relationship and how do you prevent and solve same. Claudine Benjamin
The consultant in the OD consultant-client relationship is expected to provide the client with professional expert advice in a specific field by assisting the organisation in an objective manner to identify, analyse and, upon request, assist in implementing solutions to specific problems.
There have been several schools of thought on the various models of consultation that exists for clients. Schein (1990) identified three broad categories as the purchase of expertise, process consultation and doctor–patient. The purchase of expertise model suggests that clients are looking for the consultant to provide independent perspective to bear on specific challenges hand. Here, there is no expectation to focus on the client relationship per se but to provide expertise in a detached manner. The doctor-patient model says the consultant focuses on using a diagnostic approach to examine the client organisations problems. Using distinct experience, knowledge and diagnostic abilities, the strategic organisational issues are identified by the consultant, who focuses on building strong relationships and developing trust between client and consultant. In the process consultation model, Schein suggests that the consultant is a facilitator and the client actually provides much of the relevant expertise with a clear distinction of roles and tasks. Consultants may at times have to cross between models when working along with organisations in addressing specific issues, however they should be always mindful that assuming a facilitative role may better assist the organisation in getting to a point where they are able to develop their own processes. Getting to that point is not a smooth transition, however and there are several issues that will arise within the consultant-client relationship.