JLTalley & Associates


Three Tracks

TRACK ONE: Yet to launch

You have just graduated from an MSOD program or perhaps you have a solid background in a related field and have decided to turn your energy to OD consulting. But the defining characteristic for you is that you have yet to secure and serve your first 10 clients. Your challenge is defining your practice clearly and finding an entry point into the marketplace. You have to find a marketing plan that is both effective and comfortable enough for you to execute for years on end. The real trick is to avoid selling yourself, and marketing to your client's distress. There are also some project fundamentals to master: sales calls, proposals, contracting, pricing, and even billing.

TRACK TWO: Room to grow.

You have a practice with a book of clients, but you are not getting the clients you really want... or enough work in general. Your challenge is to sharpen the definition of the symptoms your potential client might experience, rather than highlighting a specific service you offer. You may need to consider acquiring skills just outside your comfort zone, or partner with other consultants to create a broader offering. You also need to revisit previous clients and carefully suggest a more expansive project for the future.

TRACK THREE: An internal OD practitioner

Your challenge is not marketing, but more likely creating the right consultative relationship with your internal customers. Getting out from under the label of "Trainer" or "Facilitator" can require skilled and tactful negotiation of project scope and working relationships. The relationship is only complicated more by the existing hierarchy, which may position you far from the partnership relationship you want.

The Venue

My preference is to offer mentoring in small groups (2-5) of people in the same track. For internal OD practitioners, it usually has to be a few people in the same company due to confidentiality concerns. The groups would meet every two weeks, but I expect one-on-one phone/Zoom contacts inbetween for more pointed conversations.

The Nature of Mentoring

Mentoring is often confused with coaching or teaching. The Coach knows where their client needs to be and how to get them there; the Mentor shares the definition of desired outcomes with their mentee and negotiates a path to find that goal. The Teacher is expected to know the needed curriculum and work hard to pass it along as effectively as possible; the Mentor may know a great deal, but they only teach when the Mentee clearly indicates they need a missing piece in their own emerging understanding.

Copyright © 2020 Jerry L. Talley
Rancho Cordova, California
(650) 967-1444