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For most of us, “burnout” begins the moment we start our first job. In strategic terms, therefore, one’s goal is not to “stop” burnout but rather to slow its rate. In any work setting that features working with others, the rate of burnout is best slowed by: (1) productivity and (2) job satisfaction.

Our efforts in promoting productivity and job satisfaction while impeding “burnout” is realized by helping work groups better understand themselves. A work group is defined as a recognizable entity within a larger organization that is structured in a certain way to carry out very specific functions. Examples of work groups would be a college department, a board of trustees for a nonprofit or for-profit organization, a group practice, a specialty subgroup within a firm or organization, the staff of a specific program or school within an organization or school system featuring many different operational entities, and a group of managers that meet on a regular basis.

A work group’s vitality is tied to many structural, operational, and interpersonal factors. Some of the factors might be:

Ball Mechanics of decision-making Ball “Leadership” (individually and collectively)
Ball Goal setting Ball Listening skills
Ball Rewards and incentives Ball “In group” vs. “Out group” dynamics
Ball Feedback systems Ball Personal differences and conflicts
Ball Decision implementation Ball The established “culture” of the group

While each work group does have an identity truly its own, our consultative efforts exclusively focus on two commonalities—the gathering of information and its movement within the group—that exist across all work groups and affect all aspects of their existence. Recognizing that it is quite possible for a work group to be quite “functional” (see What is a problem?) while distinguished by a lack of productivity and poor morale, we join work groups—usually on a short term basis—to achieve one goal: shift the functionality of the group so that people can enjoy the job and each other more and competently carry out their work responsibilities.

We try to avoid the “know it all” manner of some organizational consultants. We do possess very specific skills that can be helpful. However, the membership of a given work group—be it teachers, attorneys, start-up dudes, business people, or a school committee—knows each other and their “product” far better then we ever will. Only when a truly collaborative initiative takes hold can “change” (Plan B) come about.

lizard “Change” oriented consultation—time limited, systemic support of a work group intent on improving productivity and job satisfaction. Data collection is usually the foundation of this endeavor
(See Change-oriented consultation)
lizard Mediation—for conflict resolution between individuals or factions within a work group (See Mediation)
lizard Facilitation (See Facilitation)
lizard Applied learning problem-solving curriculum—exploration of core problem-solving skills in relation to specific focus of work group
(See Turn the cube)

It is our preference to deliver consultative services to work groups in a private, discreet fashion if at all possible. We will travel to provide consultation.