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Paper Outline
Purpose of the paper
Summary of the case
The client’s goals, as you understand them
Engagement Phase
Your consulting philosophy
The consultant’s assumptions, values, and working style
The client’s understanding of the issues/problems
The questions you would like answered and how you will go about answering them to help the client achieve the desired goals
Discovery Phase
Note: You will not be able to actually collect information regarding what you want/need to know, however, you should generate hypothetical results. For example, “Who are the key stakeholders?” Simply list the people you would guess the client would identify. Important: Identify the methods, questions, processes, etc. that you will use to “discover” the answers to the following questions:
Who are the key stakeholders?
What does success look like?
What is the “true” problem? (relate this problem to the assigned readings and videos)
Action Planning Phase – Based upon the client’s goals and what you learned during the discovery phase, create the actions that should be taken; relate these actions to the assigned readings and videos.
Implementation Phase – You will not write about this phase.
Provide a brief summary of your paper’s major points
American Supply Network (ASN) is a $200 million wholesale distribution company operating in the automotive aftermarket industry. ASN supplies automotive tools and repair equipment to independent re-sellers (e.g., tool trucks) as well as several large chain stores, such as Pep Boys and O’Reilly Auto Parts. ASN began as a small family-owned business and recently purchased its two largest competitors, also small family-owned enterprises. ASN now has a distribution capacity spanning the entire United States and is the largest player in its niche market.
After the purchase of the two additional companies, ASN’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) asked the founders’ sons of the purchased companies to remain with the ASN and to sit on the Executive Committee (EC). The young CEO believes that this move to retain the purchased companies’ family members will help with customer relations and in understanding the operations of the newly acquired companies.
The EC is now made up of:
The CEO (ASN’s founder’s youngest son)
The Senior Vice President of Sales
The head of Marketing
The Chief Operating Officer (the COO is a newly hired leader from outside the company)
The Chief Information Officer (ASN’s founder’s eldest son)
The two sons of the purchased companies (now called Regional Heads of Operation); they report to the COO.
Six weeks ago, the EC began a strategic planning process to map out their long-term approach to continued market-share and financial growth. Almost immediately after the process began, the EC began to encounter conflict. The energetic young CEO senses that the Regional Heads are joining together to undermine his vision for the future with other members of the EC. The new COO feels that the only way to establish himself as the leader of operations is to “act tough” and be the “smartest person in the room.” His constant appeal to the Nike creed of “just do it” and do it now is wearing thin on many in the room who like to think through issues and discuss things in detail before jumping to conclusions. The CIO feels that other EC members do not take him seriously and that the “new people” just don’t understand what has made ASN not only a fast-growing company but also a great place to work.
You’ve just received a call from the Human Resource Director, Tana Heilbert. The HR director tells you that the EC asked for your assistance in helping the group to get along better and to make forward progress in their strategic planning process. Ms. Heilbert has requested that your consulting firm create a proposal responding to the EC’s questions and needs.
Here are the EC’s issues:
Since everyone benefits significantly from ASN as it continues to grow, why is the group having difficulty?
What are the major issues that must be addressed if ASN is to form a useful organizational culture?
What do you recommend in terms of the next steps/process you propose to straighten out the confusion?