Organizational Scouting Your midweek assignment in this course will be a continuous project. You will be assuming the role of a consultant. Each week, you will engage in a different aspect of an organ

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Organizational Scouting

Your midweek assignment in this course will be a continuous project. You will be assuming the role of a consultant. Each week, you will engage in a different aspect of an organizational development activity. The focus of the project will be the professional development needs of the members of the organization. In other words, you will examine how well your organization develops its members towards building a sustainable and competitive organization. You will use the same  organization for each week’s assignment. You may select your own organization, an organization you have worked for in the past, an organization that a family member works for, or an organization you would like to work for in the future. Consult your instructor if you have questions about a suitable organization for the project.

A key part of consulting activities is clarification of expectations with the client. Those expectations are then formalized into a contract. For the purposes of this skills-building exercise (each week during the course), we will assume that the client has asked to receive a series of memos as progress and planning updates for the project. We will also assume that the client has asked you to focus on individual, team, and leadership development in the organization. Each week during the course, you will be preparing a one or two page memo to post in the forum for instructor and peer review.

Here you can find some good

tips on memo writing.

As needed for the organization you select for the project and your weekly memos, you may either use the real leader (e.g., CEO) or a hypothetical top leader as your client.

  • Week 1: Scouting Memo

  • Week 2: Diagnosis Memo

  • Week 3: Individual Interventions Memo

  • Week 4: Team Interventions Memo

  • Week 5: Leadership Development and Succession Interventions Memo Week 5: Leadership Development and Succession Interventions Memo

It is recommended that you look at each week’s skills project and work ahead. Some assignments might take you more than two or three days to arrange and complete (e.g., interviews). In other words, your deliverable (memo) is due on day four of each week, but the planning and execution required to complete the deliverable might take you more than a couple of days to complete.

Week 1 Assignment:

In an organizational diagnosis and development project, a consultant usually begins with a scouting stage. In the scouting stage, the consultant gets to know the client and the expectations. Additionally, the consultant will often observe organizational activities, conduct some interviews, and read available organizational documents to get a feel for processes, attitudes, and potential areas for attention. The scouting stage helps the consultant develop some initial ideas about areas for improvement. Then, the consultant can design data collection (which you will do in next week’s work) to confirm those ideas or identify other concerns.

Planning and Execution:

In this week’s work, you will do an opening assessment (i.e., scouting) of your organization. Research answers to the following issues (bullet point questions below). You may use your own observations, interviews with other organizational members, internet research, and research in organizational documents as part of your review. Due to time constraints for the project, you may also include hypothetical data as needed to fill in some gaps. However, you should do your best to collect as much real data as possible. The following themes should guide the planning and execution of your scouting work.

  • What is the organization? What does it do/what is its purpose?

  • How well does your organization develop its members? Does it appear to operate from a comprehensive PDP?

  • What evidence or symptoms do you see that support your conclusion (about whether your organization develops its members)?

  • What are some of the possible reasons why your organization does or does not develop its members well?

  • Who would need to get involved to improve your organization’s development philosophy and practices?

  • What benefits might individuals in the organization experience if a more robust developmental philosophy and practices were in place?

  • What benefits might the organization experience if a more robust development philosophy and practices were in place?

  • Where are the most important opportunities for organizational development (remember, the focus of the project is the professional development needs of members)?


Prepare a one to two page (500 to 1000 words, singlespaced) scouting memo that synthesizes the issues and the most important opportunities for organizational development

Organizational Scouting Your midweek assignment in this course will be a continuous project. You will be assuming the role of a consultant. Each week, you will engage in a different aspect of an organ
T ips for Memo Writing Purpose: The word memo is short for the term “memorandum,” which means something that should be remembered. Memos are brief documents that summarize information. Often memos highlight key problems or key steps to solve a problem. Memo s might also report new information about a policy, change, or requirement. Accordingly, memos are targeted to a specific audience who need to know the summarized information. General Guidelines : Memos are usually no more than one or two pages long, and are often shorter. They should be single – spaced and left justified. New paragraphs are signaled by skipping a line between paragraph s rather than indenting the first line of the paragraph. Effective memos often use headings to clarify information. Although a memo can be divided into structural sections (e.g., summary, context, etc. as per the next portion of this guidelines sheet), it can be helpful to use a content heading to assist the reader. For example, rather than stating summary , you might use “ New G rading Deadline ” or another short term that describes the change or problem. Also, use of lists and bullet points rather than paragraphs can make memos clearer and simpler for readers. Sections: Memos are organized strategically, with each section fulfill ing an important role. To begin, memos have a header section . A header section usually looks like: To: From: Date: Subject: (sometimes abbreviated as Re: for regarding). The header section provides a “quick glimpse” of participants and purpose. Who is t he memo for? Who sent it? What it is about? The header should use exact date and exact name/title (rather than nick names). Next, a memo contains a summary segment . Some memos will only contain the summary segment. For longer memos, the summary segment pro vides the introduction. Regardless of whether the summary constitutes the entire memo or just the introduction, it will provide a brief statement of the purpose of the memo, the context, and any problem, solution, change, or action step. Provide just enou gh information to attract audience attention, answer their questions, and persuade them to take needed actions. For a longer memo, the summary or opening segment should be about ¼ of the memo. Longer memos build on the summary segment and can include spec ific sections addressing context, problem or change, action steps, and supporting evidence. In a longer memo, these section s generally constitute about ½ of memo —with header being 1/8, summary or opening being ¼, and closing section being 1/8. Longer mem os also include a closing section that reiterates needed action steps, clarifies benefits for completing action steps, and indicates how the author (or organization or other agent) will support those action steps. For a shorter memo that only has the summa ry section, the summary section will include some elements of the closing section too (e.g., benefits, support). Finally, a memo will include attachments as needed . Because a memo represents summarized information, extensive details are provided in the fo rm of other documents or sources when required. These might include graphs, tables, charts, lists, etc. If a memo includes attachments, there should be a line at the end of the memo that indicates attachments and the title of those attachments. For example , Attachments: Communication Survey Results, May 2015.

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