For this assessment, you will develop a 3–5 page plan for starting a consulting project, including an evaluation of a sample contract, an analysis of the project outlined in the contract, and a list of best practices for building trust with the client.
To prepare for this assessment, read the ABC Bank Case Study document and the ABC Bank Sample Contract document, both of which are linked in the Required Resources. Ensure you are familiar with the ABC Bank Case Study.
Knowing that there are a variety of ways to develop a good contract, evaluate the ABC Bank Sample Contract as it stands, noting the edits and enhancements you would recommend before presenting the contract to the client. Cite references to support your recommended changes.
Using the ABC Bank’s sample contract, complete the following:
- Analyze the sample consulting contract.
- What stands out to you as needing further clarification about the project?
- Identify topics to discuss before beginning the sample project.
- What are topics that you still need to discuss with the client in completing the final draft of the contract? Generate a list of topics and questions.
- Formulate a list of best practices for building trust when beginning the sample consulting contract.
- What best practices would you recommend to help them establish and maintain a strong consulting relationship?
Note: For learning purposes, this contract has some intentional flaws and includes room for improvement.
- Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
- APA formatting: Your paper should be formatted according to current edition APA style and formatting.
- Length: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages.
- Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 points.
ABC Bank Case Study:
A leadership problem has developed at ABC Bank. Jerry, the sales director of the mortgage division, was just fired for engaging in poor ethical behavior and for losing the confidence of his staff. As a result, there are negative rumors circulating around the bank. Human resources director Pam thinks Jerry’s situation is the perfect example of why ABC Bank needs to implement a leadership development program. There has been very little, if any, ethical leadership development or training at the bank.
Bob, the CEO, told Pam to develop a framework for critical values, knowledge, and skills necessary for the kind of leadership the bank would like managers to practice—ethical, skilled, and proactive leadership. Pam presented her framework to the executive team, and they voiced mixed opinions about investing in such a leadership development program. However, the program has been approved, and you have been selected as the consultant who will implement this project. Pam is hopeful that you can help prevent other leadership problems from developing through executive coaching and team leadership development work with executive management team.
You are considering a plan to include a series of training, team development sessions, and individual coaching sessions over the course of a year. ABC Bank has agreed that Bob, the CEO, will work closely with you and attend all team trainings and meetings. You are would like to conduct quarterly evaluations of progress.
As you report to ABC Bank, Bob greets you in the lobby and asks that you sit in on the executive team meeting right away. He wants you to hear their discussion of what they see as the most critical issues today and to observe their teamwork.
Bob opens the meeting by explaining that he wants the team to start thinking more strategically about the company’s processes for developing leaders. He explains that it is important to get out of the reactionary mode and start thinking about development, and asks the team to consider best practices in leadership development.
Right away, you notice that the most vocal member is Paul, manager of the senior lending division, who answers almost every question based on “This is how we have always done it.”
Paul says, “I will be honest: I do not believe leadership development is an important focus—all of our management members are experienced leaders who know how to give directives and get the job done.” He is much more concerned about the new regulations, which will require more documentation and paperwork with the same amount of resources that were already overtaxed. It is unrealistic to require this level of documentation with the current staff.
Bertha, manager of compliance, is responsible for ensuring the bank’s practices match organizational, state, and federal practices and laws. She speaks up after Paul’s point about regulations. She says, “We have a plan for how this can be accomplished, but it will take the involvement of this entire team and I will need your direct staff to work with me more closely.” Paul jokes that Bertha is being “pushy.” Laughter follows Bertha’s comment, but Bertha is not laughing.
Ken, manager of the investments department, states that he believes some leadership training would be helpful. After all, Jerry got into trouble because he did not have the respect of his employees and he tried to gloss over some spending that occurred rather than account for dollars spent accurately. Had he put everything through Bertha’s compliance department, the problem would have been caught. However, it appears that the compliance department is not being used in a way that helps mitigate risk at the bank. Perhaps, if Jerry had had some leadership training, this disaster would not have occurred.
Paul says that training is not a bad thing, but there is no time. Spending time in this meeting right now is preventing them all from actually getting work done.
Team members agreed on only one thing: they are all under a lot of pressure that requires some strategic thinking. The new federal regulations requiring greater documentation and tracking of processes and procedures will likely take many hours of time and if they are not going to be able to hire more staff, they need a strategy to get this done. Matthew, manager of technology, agreed that they spend a lot of time in meetings with too many items on the agenda; thus, few decisions are made.
After the meeting, Bob and Pam ask your opinion about how the team functions and what strategy you have in mind for individual coaching, as well as for team development work. Bob emphasizes his hope that dialogue about leadership development and some training occur quickly so that the company can be more proactive in developing leaders.
As you walk out of the conference room, you glance up at the framed notice: ABC Bank, a place for teamwork, respect, dedication, and valuing diversity.
Sample Contract for Consultation with ABC Bank
The objective of this project is to increase the knowledge, values, and skills of the leadership team at ABC Bank.
Our goal is to develop leaders that manage their departments ethically, skillfully, and proactively.
A second objective is to teach the executive leadership team how to perform this type of analysis and intervention. These skills will help the executive leadership team to assess and adapt the program based on real-world needs.
Our goal is to help ABC Bank become more self-sufficient in analyzing and adapting their leadership development program to maintain the relevance of the program for the long-term.
Organizational Development Objectives
This project will help the executive leadership team proactively improve today’s leaders while also developing the company’s future leaders.
Our goal is to create an organic, self-sustaining system of developing ethical, effective leadership to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
The outcome of this project will be a leadership assessment, training, and coaching program.
The project will begin with a 360-degree assessment of every leader that agrees to participate tailored to the specific identified goals. A targeted training program for every leader will be developed based on the aggregate results. A customized coaching program will be developed for every leader based on individual results. Follow-up 360-degree assessments will be conducted at 90, 180, and 360 days after the training program has been implemented. The strengths and challenges of the training and coaching program will be evaluated based upon the improvements demonstrated by the assessments and necessary adjustments to the program will be made.
Needs from the Client
You have agreed to communicate the existence and need of this program to your organization. You have agreed to conduct regular meetings with the executive leadership team to keep you apprised of the program’s progress. You have agreed to assist with the identification of staff who will complete the forms for the 360-degree assessment of each leader. You have agreed to distribute the Web address to the employees that will be participating in the 360-degree assessment. You have agreed to provide facilities and equipment for the training program. You have agreed to allow each manager a maximum of 2 hours per month to participate in the leadership coaching program. You have agreed to position participation in this project valuable but voluntary.
Scope of the Project and Deadlines
The scope of this program will include developing, delivering, and evaluating a leadership development program targeted to the goals identified by your organization. The project will begin 30 days from the date of this contract and will continue for a period of 12 months. The aggregate data and conclusions drawn from the 360-degree assessment will be delivered at 60 days from the start of the project. The first draft of the training curriculum will be submitted for review 90 days from the start of the project. The final draft will be submitted for approval at 120 days from the start of the project. The training and coaching program will begin no later than 180 days from the start of the project. Monthly meetings will occur on the third Tuesday of every month.
All individual assessment contributions and results will be held in the strictest confidence. Only aggregate data will be provided to your organization and it will be provided after all individually identifying information has been removed. All findings, aggregate results, and recommendations will be submitted to the director of human resources. Any further distribution will be determined by the director of human resources.
Confidentiality is crucial to the success of this project. Without confidentiality, employees might be reluctant to share their true feelings about their manager in the 360-degree assessment process. Managers might be reluctant to participate if they were not assured of the confidentiality of their results and progress. Therefore, confidentiality is addressed in the contract and a statement of confidentiality will be distributed to every employee.