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Change ladder

Before finalizing what the problem really is, it will help if you determine what type of change is needed. Often, when you are first asked to help with a problem there will be a great deal of uncertainty. Since the client is often influenced by subjective needs, the views of other political players and the vagaries of history, the issue offered to you might well consist of a hotch potch of different stories and concerns. Consequently, when the relationship first begins, the client will implicitly be looking for you to help take away some of the surrounding fog. As Schein (1994) suggests:

In reality the manager often does not know what he is looking for and indeed should not be expected to know. All he knows is that something is not working right and he needs some kind of help. An important part of any consultation process, then, must be to help the manager or organization to figure out what the problem is, and only then decide what further kind of help is needed.


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