Overview of the Case:
The OD consultant receives a telephone call from Robert Denton, plant manager ofKenworth Motors who was referred by a sailing friend who was a colleague of theconsultant. Denton has held his job for eight months and believes things are generallygoing well, but has a sense things could be better. He invites the consultant to visit himand discuss his situation. The consultant does a little research about the company priorto the meeting but was thoughtful about what he wanted his emotional and professionalposture to be. During the meeting, Denton describes that his plant and its employeesget along fine, work well together and do a good job. Yet,
he contends that “things nag atme that I can’t put my finger on…..we haven’t jelled together as a team quite like I’dhoped.” The consultant asks more questions but the answers from Denton reveal
nothing indicating a problem. At this point the consultant offers to independentlyconfirm how things are going in the plant through employee interviews. He explainsthat this approach in itself may impact the organization, possibly raise tensions andeven perhaps cause problems. Denton responds by asking about other options. Theconsultant suggests a weekend retreat for the management team including Denton.Denton expresses interest and the consultant quickly calculates his fees in his head andshares them with the client. He says that the content of the retreat would be somewhatflexible and that Bob Denton would have to trust him. Denton quickly agreed to theretreat weekend. The OD consultant and he proceeded to select a weekend for theevent.
Robert Denton, plant manager of Kenworth Motors’ Seattle truck manufacturing operations calls the consultant on recommendation of an OD manager for a local timber company
· Robert has been plant manager for only 8 months
· His role as plant manager had been going well but had strong sense that things could be even better