The Organization Development Contract

Marvin Weisbord

IN OD CONSULTING, the contract is central to success or failure. Most other kinds of contracts—employment, service, research, etc.—focus heavily on content, that is, the nature of the work to be performed, the schedule, and the money to change hands. Generally, these issues are negotiated through a proposal, which one party writes and the other accepts or rejects.

The consulting contract most people are familiar with takes two forms:

1. You hire me to study the problem and tell you what to do.

2. You hire me to solve the problem for you.

I call these “expert” consulting contracts. In either case, the quality of the advice and/or the solution is the focus and the consultant is a ...

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