Consulting Skills - A Client's Perspective

In  20011/12 the Head of People and OD service invested in personal development activities for her team to bring them together as internal agents of cultural change. As a Business Partner within the team I attended the summer session in 2012.

During my experience with Oxen Park we were, as a wider team, encouraged to find more effective ways of working as People and Organisational Development Consultants using a business perspective within the internal organisation. We were introduced to what I now see in retrospect was a structured strategic approach to culture change embedding sound project management and quality management principles in our every day practice. We were our own practice auditors and our learning was our own. Through personal and group reflection, peer challenge and directed reading we were encouraged to take real life working problems, examine our approach and reconsider better ways of working.

For me the Oxenpark experience hit many targets:-

  • Identified a wide disparate nascent service as one team
  • Encouraged the breaking down of artificial boundaries and professional silos in order to function as a Service Business Unit
  • Caused us to re-examine known models and ways of working with clients more holistically
  • Encouraged a shaping and influencing approach which was able to be owned and identified by the client as a Business imperative
  • Embedded a Consultancy approach for our service internally within the organisation
  • Gave me the confidence to sit back, plan more effectively the client interaction and not just jump in with tailor made solutions “ off the peg” which were not owned by the client

Oxen Park also gave me a model above and beyond these immediate benefits which I am recognising works as both an internal and an external consultant.

I have recently relocated and set up my own consultancy. Now more than ever at the sharp end I see the absolute value and imperative of a planned structured business consultancy approach to the provision of HR services.

Geoff and Ivan were fabulous personable course leaders, coaches and mentors who challenged and encouraged you to take from the learning a new way of thinking. A culture change for internal working as consultants in a corporate organisation which translates exactly into the external consultancy market.

I cannot recommend this development experience or these leaders more highly in terms of building personal reflection and challenge, Organisational Authenticity, Personal Awareness, Group purpose and bringing the rigours of an external consultancy way of working to an internal consultancy approach.

Carolyn Montgomerie