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Essay: Case studies – Kenworth Motors and Lincoln Hospital

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  • Published: 22 September 2015*
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Case Study: Kenworth Motors
Question 1
How well did the OD consultant prepares for the meeting with Denton? Would you have done anything differently?
In my opinion the OD consultant didn’t prepared well for the meeting with Denton. Due to time constrain the OD consultant didn’t think ahead of time to meet the organization head to gather information. Before the meeting with Kenworth Motors he just knew with whom he is going to meet and the firm where the meeting is, but nothing more about the firm or the person Denton. At the initial conversation of the meeting the OD consultant discussed about some irrelevant topic, which is an in appropriate treatment of an OD consultant with a client. During the meeting he also admitted that he does not know what to do or say at the meeting with Denton. It clearly shows his inefficient meeting preparation. He should have prepared an agenda for the meeting focusing what the business was all about with a clear idea of what is expected out of the meeting. He should have put some effort collecting insights about the Kenworth Motors background and its current situation.
Yes, I would have done some research about the company and the person, from the available facts like the firm’s name or the person’s name. If I knew, I was going on an appointment and I don’t know nothing about the firm, team, or the person with whom I am going to meet. Then better I do my homework thoroughly, so that I look more confident and well prepared to others. For which, I don’t need too must of time or any resource except a cup of coffee with my laptop and sometime, browsing the firm website and related work networks like LinkedIn or if any. Taking advantage of available resources wouldn’t cost nothing, but really helps me be prepared for the meeting with an agenda. This also helps me to providing a perfect mentoring to the firm or person, as I would have more knowledge to makes my job easy.
Question 2
In the discussion between the OD consultant and Denton, what was effective and ineffective about the consultant’s behavior?
In the discussion between the OD consultant and plant manager Denton, the OD consultant has chance to ask about the firm and its products. During the conversation Denton was able to talk about the daily production rate of trucks, their sales order backlogs, equipment up-gradation, and cost of the trucks and also about his current project budgeting for next year. Initially OD consultant was effective in establishing the trust and empathy. By letting Denton to talk long time about his organization and listened everything very attentively to get an idea about the issue. The OD consultant also shared about himself to Denton. When Denton was saying about his Managers and other important issues; he asked him many questions to find out any clue of that mismanagement. I think this is very essential to interrupt sometime and ask questions to get specific information from a person. Which helped to builds a good friendly relation to understand and engage both the parties, during the consultation process. Due to intrapersonal and interpersonal skills of the OD consultant, the consultation progressed effectively. Going through this manager started willing to disclose the organization information. He asked for details descriptions to Denton about some important things like, union relations to account receivable, engineering production relations to turnover figures. Through questioning the OD consultant tried to identify problematic areas in relation to manufacturing operations. After listening everything, he explained to Denton what he can do in this case. As an OD consultant, he explained what problem can arise when an outsider come to the company to solve problems. As his questions were answered by the internal person, consultant realized his initial process was not so effective in identifying the problems. He also said how long it can take to resolve the problem and how much he will charge him for his service. I think he explained everything including the pros and cons of having an external consultant to investigate to Denton articulately and all of these behaviors are effective to deal with the clients.
Question 3
How effective was the contracting process described in the last part of the case? What is the scope and clarity of the agreement?
In the last part of the case the contracting process was effectively described, the contracting process of the OD consultant was perfect to solve that problem. Since, there was a bitter relation between the two Mangers of two different departments. So, to get an informal environment they decided to meet outside of their work place and they chose weekend to avoid any waste of working hour. The outside environment is helpful to create a friendly situation and rethink about their behavior with each other. Contract process is the only tool to do it in short time. Within the agreement, it covered of these
i. An idea of a retreat weekend,
ii. Ultimate purpose of the idea with time and venue of the retreat,
iii. Scheduled outline of the weekend
iv. Cost associated with the event
v. OD consultation service
In terms of clarity, the initial contract planning was relatively insufficient and the consultant failed to explain clearly his role & responsibility. He could not define his action plan to achieve the goal of the weekend retreat and failed to accomplish a comprehensive action research plan and result measuring method of the proposed event.
Question 4
How would you design the upcoming retreat?
In my opinion both the consultant and Denton should have meet before the actual meeting, to better understand the current situation and problems. This might have helped the consultant to learn about the manufacturing operations and build a friendly relation with Denton to know some insights about the current job and their future plans. This way the OD consultant might have a warm conversation during the meeting as he already knew Denton, when he meets officially with other members. This also would have helped him to lean and understand their personalities.
Case Study 2: Lincoln Hospital: Third-Party Intervention
If you had been called by Lincoln’s President to help resolve the problem described in the case, how would have carried out the contracting and diagnosis stages? What would you have done differently than what the OD consultant did?
I would like to interview the President of Lincoln hospital about what is going wrong in his organization. I would ask him some questions like what is he think are the main problems, who do he think are the responsible for those issues, from when he first noticed those mismanagement, what resources lacking does he think they have, what kind of solution does he expect and how does he want to implement those in his organization. Then analyze all of his answers and after thinking the whole situation deeply I would make a plan about what to do to give them solution. Then explain to the president of the hospital about my plan detail, how long I will take to conduct my consultation process and how much I will charge them.
At the beginning I would make a list of the people who are directly link or witness of the mismanagement and start interviewing them. Because, it is easy to find out specific information and identify problem through interviewing people. I think after the primary interviews all of the related employees are possible to get an idea about the problem. After the primary meeting I would like to talk with people who are the mainly responsible for the mismanagement. In case of the Lincoln hospital, the conflict was mainly between OR President Mary and Mr. Don, the chief of surgery. So, I would like to spend time with both of them and other important people to find out all of the necessary information. I would like to ask both Mary and Don about what positive and negative things of each other make them happy and irritate. With this I would ask them whether other things like resources of the hospital, work strategy they are following and their relations with other employees are affecting their work or not. If other issues are deteriorating their work environment what kind of solutions are they expecting from the management? I would also like to ask them what kind of treatment are they expecting from each other and if Mr. Don perform the role of Ms. Mary what he did to go things smoothly and ask Mary the same question. I think by asking those I could get a clear concept about their expectation about each other and find out what solution are they looking for. By interviewing them gradually, I would be able to diagnose the problems and find out a possible way to solve those.
The thing I would do differently is to invite both Don and Mary outside of their workplace to give them an informal and friendly environment then they can think about their problem articulately and in an open mind. I think this would work to make their relation more respectful and rational. I would also like to invite the President of the organization at the face to face meeting. His presence certainly helps to ease the rival relation of his two managers and inspire them to work together for the wellbeing of the organization.
Question 2:
Is third-party intervention an appropriate intervention in this case? Other possible OD interventions?
There was an egotistical problem between the OR head Mary and the chief of surgery Mr. Don. Their relation became so bitter that they started to talk against each other openly and even not interested to talk with each other. Their personal conflicts affect the overall performance of the hospital and created two groups as they were the head of two different departments. So, in this type of case third party intervention became important. Because, if they tried to solve the conflict by themselves it could worsening the ongoing conflict as both of them tried to materialize their own opinions without considering the reality and one party took decision to fire his rival anyway. But both of the Managers were very important for the hospital. So, the hospital director took a good decision to hire an OD Practitioner for getting a good solution.
Other possible solution could be suggesting the hospital head to find out temporally or permanently to give the charge of head of those two departments to the senior employees among them. And check how the new heads do and what types of difficulty are they face to deliver services. By this way, they could identify what actual lacking they have in the hospital except the personality issue. I think they were lack of resource as they said sometime they borrowed surgical equipments from other hospitals. With this they fired forty percent of the experienced OR nurses whom Mr. Don consider the best nurses he has worked with ever. So, the Management could provide all of the necessary equipments and hire or bring back of those experienced nurses and observe how thing are improving after those changes.
Question 3:
How effective was the third party intervention? Next steps?
I personally think, third party intervention is very effective in this type of case. Here the chief of surgery department considered that the expulsion of the OR chief are the only solution to minimize the mismanagement. One the other hand the OR head considered that the surgeon head are too rude to work. Even they tried to avoid any face to face conversation and express grudge against each other before their other colleagues openly. There was a big miscommunication and disbelieve between two heads of OR and surgery. In this type of situation it is really tough to get a solution without the third party intervention. Definitely there were many other lacking like lacking of experienced nurse, different essential medical equipments for surgery and communication among different departments which deteriorated their management. Since the personal conflicts was the main culprit for that mismanagement and their own effort could not bring any positive outcome. So the presence of an outsider was the only way to improve the relationship between the two departments chief. In this case an OD practitioner can help them to melt the ice of misunderstanding through different consultation processes .He can be a real eye opener about the mistakes they are doing and creating chaos in the organization.
The OD personal ought to talk listen from the Director about all of the problems he think are hampering the overall reputation of the hospital and what kind of solution is he expecting from him? Then he can talk with both Mary and Don individually what problem are they facing in their work and what activities of each other are irritating them. With this he should talk with the other officers who work with them and partially involve with that conflict. After analyzing all of the statements he ought to share the positives statement between each other to ease the misunderstanding and make them more respectful about each other. Finally, he ought to give suggestion to the hospital management what to do to improve the work environment and employee relationship like hiring experienced nurse, buy medical equipments, build up a good work strategy, role set for all of the employees etc.

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