Organizational Consultation: An Appreciative Approach–VII. The Consultative Process: Stages 1 and 2
Although the most visible stage in this process (intervention) usually is also the most important in determining the overall success of the consultation, it cannot stand in isolation from the other stages. An unsuccessful intervention often has been executed skillfully, but has not been preceded by sufficient “homework”; hence, it is inappropriate, ill-timed, understaffed, overstaffed, misunderstood or provided to the wrong people. Effective consultation always requires a sensitive balance between the rational and reflective stages of information collection, analysis and feedback, on the one hand, and the more intuitive and action-oriented stages of intervention planning and implementation, on the other hand. The remainder of this essay is devoted to a more detailed description and examination of the first two stages. The remaining eight stages are described and examined in the two subsequent essays.