Fields of consulting in organisational psychology
Organisational development and Change Management
1. Organisational analysis
Many matters of organisational consulting can be fully understood only with an analysis of the starting situation. This is because organisational structure, formal responsibilities, workflows and interfaces are only one side of the “reality” in an organisation. Therefore, the assessments and levels of motivation of the participants are additionally studied using the method of in-depth interviews. In the process, it becomes clear how leadership and teamwork in the organisation in question are actually practised and which “local rules of play” often actually apply in clear contrast to the published guidelines or company principles. For example, communication channels and informal influential factors are recorded that can influence or arrest official decisions. On the other hand, the attitudes of the employees towards their company as well as the conflict patterns at the interfaces of organisational units become clearer. On this basis, we accompany our clients in structural changes, in conflict settlements between organisational units or between persons as well as in measures for HR development.
2. Evaluation and team development
Here, the supervisor and the employees under his direct authority have the chance to examine the teamwork so far or (in the case of new group line-ups) to clarify the expectations regarding the future teamwork. Our design and moderation of the workshops are based on many years of experience in the effects of organisational patterns and takes into account particularly the underlying structures to support group dynamics. From the joint findings as to which supporting and hindering factors influence teamwork, together the group establishes consequences in the form of a concrete plan of action.
3. Improving organisation interfaces
In all organisations there are areas with sensitive interfaces where conflicts are often felt as unavoidable. Overall efficiency suffers considerably when power struggles escalate between marketing and sales or development and production areas and “natural” rivalry is constructed. In the workshops, the persons concerned analyse the conflict structures together, with the help of the moderator, and develop starting points for improvements. Here, the bandwidth extends from changes to personal modes of behaviour to changed formal workflows.
From the mid-1970s, together with a few clients we began to develop leadership instruments that today would be called performance assessment, target agreements, supervisor feedback and balanced score card and that can lay the foundation for “transformational leadership”. In the process, we have learned to select and implement leadership instruments only after careful analysis of the corporate culture (customs and objectives regarding leadership, information distribution, teamwork, etc.). It is thus ensured that homage is not paid to any fashion, but that a sustained effect is generated with these instruments.
5. Internal and external (crisis) communication
There are critical situations in which organisations need to inform their employees or the public about unpleasant or sometimes even threatening developments. This can concern problems with products, reduction of personnel or restructuring in the organisation. For such cases, we develop an adequate communication strategy in which it is established who is to be informed by whom via which means and in what time frame.
Here, we concentrate mainly on the psychological effects of communication content, where the content is prepared precisely according to addressee group in different degrees of detail.
This approach is also appropriate outside of crisis situations when, for example, the right communication strategy is sought for field work to launch a product or to explain comprehensibly changes to the conditions for the customers.