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MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

Red Team Assignment

Red Team: Valarie Bartelme, Ashley Carson, Jennifer Case, Melissa Cruz, Ann Foster, Sue Gonzalez, Louise Keefe, David Loebsack, Shefali Mody, Lacey Rhodes, Nicole Tuma, Ana Villarreal, Carol Watson, Elaine Zitner MSOD 620 Professor Chris Worley March 7, 2014

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment


This paper proposes a consulting approach and intervention model that leverages traditional organization development processes and adapts them to Chinese culture. The framework is supported by a consistent focus on evaluation throughout the entire consulting process: contracting, diagnosis & feedback, and ultimately evaluation of client work from a process and outcome perspective. Throughout the proposed consulting approach, we have also identified cultural assumptions that should be considered. An illustration of the overarching process framework is available in appendix A. Evaluation: Introduction to the Framework We would like to start with the “end” in mind. We propose an evaluation approach that encourages strategic thinking through the consulting process. It is critical for evaluation to be considered at every phase of the consulting engagement. Identifying success factors at the start, and how to measure them, is essential to achieving the desired results. We acknowledge the cultural assumptions each stakeholder (the American students and the Chinese clients) may bring into the environment and have provided cultural differences to consider when conducting business in China. The evaluation process measures the effectiveness of the consulting teams‟ processes used and the interventions deployed; thus we split evaluations into two categories: process evaluations, and outcome evaluations. Our approach will lead each team to create process evaluation strategies based on the team‟s learning goals, and outcome evaluation strategies based on the agreed-upon activities and outcomes of the consulting engagement with the client.

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

Evaluation Tools Overview

Two different tools have been created to guide the teams through the evaluation process:

the Learning Evaluation Guide (LEG) (Appendix B); and the Process and Outcome Evaluation Tracker (POET) (Appendix C). The LEG is a tool that will help teams generate discussion about what they would like to learn throughout the consulting engagement process. Some key questions to consider are: What are individual and group goals for this engagement? What type of data can be gathered to measure these goals? How can the group function in a way that supports this learning? This discussion will take place before the consulting engagement begins, and the results of this discussion will be tracked in the LEG, to be used as a reference guide when process evaluation strategies are being developed throughout the engagement. POET will serve as the team‟s repository for all process and outcomes evaluation strategies in each consulting phase; it will also provide a space for each team to track their evaluation results after each consulting phase is complete. POET will be used throughout the consulting project; before each phase of the consulting engagement, each team will refer to POET to consider what process and outcome evaluation strategies they should consider. Once each phase is complete, they will conduct their evaluations and track their results in POET. Ultimately, POET is a tracking tool that will help the consulting team come to an agreement about:

Questions to evaluate process and outcomes

Methods of evaluation

Type of data collection

Once all evaluation results are tracked, POET will reveal the success of the processes

used and interventions deployed, providing feedback to be used as learning for practitioners.

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

Table 1 illustrates a high-level evaluation approach; further details are provided in each phase throughout the paper.

Table 1: The Evaluations Approach per Phase




  • 1. Assign a team member as an Evaluation lead

  • 2. Consulting team fills out the Learning Evaluation Guide (LEG) which will help the team develop process evaluation strategies in each consulting phase

  • 3. Process and outcome evaluation strategies developed and documented in POET for upcoming phase


  • 4. Conduct steps of contracting phase; identify client needs and ideal outcomes

  • 5. Identify interventions that team believes will help achieve desired outcome(s), and think strategically about how to measure the success of those interventions

  • 6. Conduct evaluation of contracting phase and provide brief evaluation results in POET

  • 7. Process and outcome evaluation strategies developed and documented in POET for upcoming phase

Diagnosis, Action &

  • 8. Conduct diagnosis/action/feedback phase steps


  • 9. Conduct evaluation of diagnosis, action and feedback phase and provide brief evaluation results in POET


  • 10. Team compiles all process and outcome evaluation results and analyzes to determine if goals have been accomplished

  • 11. Final process and outcome evaluation strategies are developed and carried out to cover any remaining gaps that may exist

  • 12. Team conducts final evaluation debrief

Finally, as the teams develop their evaluation strategies particularly outcome evaluation strategies it will be important to understand related cultural factors, including: (R3 Culture Wizard)

Responses may be given as a group rather than by individual

People may be reluctant to speak out before having an opportunity to consult with

their group Concrete answers may not be given

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

Goals and expectations may change during the engagement

Pointed questions may not be impactful

Non-verbal cues may provide as much dataas verbal responses

Numerical scores and scales may not be an effective way to gather responses

Preparation: Evaluation Steps Prior to First Client Contact

Each team should designate one member of their team to serve as the Evaluation Lead in order to ensure ownership of the processes outlined in this framework and to ensure the integrity of evaluation. Each team should then fill out the LEG. This guide is a simple prompt to get teams to think about and record their individual and collective priorities for the engagement. In particular, the guide prompts the team members to consider how to use themselves as instruments, a core characteristic of any successful organizational development practitioner. Once complete, the LEG will help teams determine their process evaluation strategies for all future phases of the consulting engagement. Process and outcome evaluation strategies should then be developed for the upcoming contracting phase, and tracked in the POET tool. Teams should refer to the LEG as a guide for developing process evaluation strategies.

Contracting in China

While contracting in China, it‟s important to remain aware of cultural differences and alter

your approach in response to them. The principals of Flawless Consulting remain true, with a slightly different lens based on Chinese cultural differences. Block encourages us to be authentic. As OD practitioners, we learn to use our self as instrument in a way that is authentic to self, but also inspires trust and engagement with the client. The premise is no different in China, but the use of self may be slightly different. According to Hofstede, truth in China is more flexible. Their perception of authenticity is less

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

static than an American truth. Conveying an authentic desire to understand the environment from which the truth emerges will help us be most successful in contracting with the Chinese. In order to achieve this goal, we must approach the contracting process with the end goal in mind. We should seek agreement on the business issue from as many people in the room as possible. A recent visitor to China shared with us that subordinates in the room will need to get approval and buy in from their senior leaders. Having them in the room saves time and also allows the more junior person to save face, something Hofstede says is very important to the Chinese. In this group setting we should also be mindful of the Collectivist culture in China. According to Hofstede, there is little loyalty of individuals to an organization, but there is strong loyalty within groups in the organization. Conversely, relationships between groups can be cold and on occasion hostile. The hierarchical system is very strong within China. According to Hofstede, more junior individuals have no recourse against abuse from senior leaders and they should not try move beyond their rank by giving an opinion on a matter that is outside of their assigned expertise, for example. As much as possible, the structure of our team should mirror this hierarchy with one clear leader in charge of the group. This will help create comfort for the client, which is important as we seek to identify the best way to help and support our clients. Gaining agreement on the business issue may have different nuances in China than we are accustomed to and we may benefit from having a written document that states what we‟ve agreed to. This may help us as we seek to understand subtleties in communication, both verbal and non-verbal. According to Hofstede, it‟s difficult to get an actual “no” from the Chinese and a yes may not mean a yes. The Chinese place great value on context in communication. They will watch the

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

facial expression of the consultants, and it is best to keep a neutral face, not a smile as we may be more accustomed to in the West. In addition, a skilled consultant in China will be able to pick up on body language cues from the Chinese as well to help understand the true meaning of the


While individuals maintain a neutral face, the language they choose should be positive. Chinese are very accustomed to positive reinforcement in this type of business situation. Praising the client will help develop rapport and deepen the relationship. Our translator may be

able to provide some assistance in translating body language and understanding what types of things to praise in the client.

Navigating Contracting Meetings in China

The next section of this paper explores Block‟s approach to Navigating the Contracting Meeting and adapts it to work in China. A new contracting flow chart (Appendix d) integrates advice gleaned from personal interviews, Hofstede, and other sources as cited earlier. First, prior to making a personal acknowledgement (Block‟s step 1), it is imperative to engage in more formal relationship building. In China, relationships come before tasks at this stage of the process. Build rapport and trust in the first meeting instead of trying to accomplish all of the steps in Block‟s model. A second call or meeting can be scheduled to discuss the work. Given that the MSOD students will only have 2.5 days with their clients in China, it will be important to contact clients ahead of time to start establishing rapport. Be patient and do not rush Chinese

clients into task-oriented conversations in the first meeting. Instead, our revised process proposes step 1) build the relationship, step 2) give a formal acknowledgement to provide the client “face”, and step 3) establish credibility. James McGregor, in his work One Billion Customers (2007) emphasizes “contract details matter less than the personal relationships developed in

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

negotiations.” McGregor maintains “the person who will run the business should negotiate the contract” (2007, p. 92). To that end, MSOD teams will ensure that team leads will be consistent throughout client engagements. Once the relationship building process evolves, it is appropriate to discuss and communicate understanding of the problem (steps 4 and 5). Be sure not to criticize the Chinese government or the client system itself to ensure proper face is given. Allow the client to paint the picture of the current situation. Be aware of body language and be sure to read between the lines. Be aware of your own body language as well. It is always prudent to start with the big picture and gradually narrow the conversation to details. Request clarifications where needed, using open ended or Socratic questions (e.g., could you elaborate on?, could you discuss that a little further?, etc.). Using Socratic questions will give the client space to clarify without forcing agreement or disagreement. In step 6, Client Wants and Offers, be sure negotiations are being conducted with the client representative who is ultimately responsible for the decision. Ideally, representatives from the client system who will be part of the work will also be present. This allows them to feel part of

the decisions as well, even if the client leader makes the final call. It is also crucial in this step to gain clarity and consensus on deliverables and/or project products. In step 7, Consultant Wants

and Offers, it‟s important to state wants and needs in multiple ways to ensure clarity. Maintain

awareness that „yes‟ may not mean agreement and read between the lines as necessary. Also, be sure to communicate „win-win‟ scenarios if the project requires considerable contribution of effort by the client system as well as the consultant (McGregor; Bergstrom, personal communication, February 20, 2014). Often, clients will claim they are overly burdened and may not see the value in contributing effort when a consultant is hired to complete certain tasks

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

(Bergstrom). If the process stalls in step 7, it‟s important to use self-as-instrument techniques of slowing down and being patient. We need to be mindful that the Chinese may ask for things that are well outside of what is considered acceptable (McGregor, 2005, p. 56); do not give in. Instead, McGregor advises to “be tough,” as “the Chinese respect it” (2007, p. 153). In step 8, Agreement, be sure to reiterate previous decisions and conclusions and ensure both parties are clear on objectives, goals, and methods. In steps 9, Feedback on Control and Commitment and 10, Give Support, offer affirmation to the client and support. Finally, in step 11, Re-State Actions, it is important to keep things simple and concise while summarizing and checking for clarity and understanding. Follow up if needed with a written contract for review.

Evaluation Steps after the Contracting Meeting

After the contracting meeting is complete, the team should have a solid understanding of the activities that will be conducted during the client engagement and the outcomes that the client expects. Considering the client engagement in a holistic manner, the team should then think strategically about how to measure the success of its interventions. This strategic thought process will help the team develop effective outcome evaluation strategies for the project. Once complete, teams should then conduct their process and outcome evaluations of the contracting phase. Using the data collected to answer each evaluation question, the team should develop a short statement (1-2 sentences) that answers each evaluation question. These should be listed in POET. Process and outcome evaluation strategies should then be developed for the upcoming diagnosis phase, and tracked in the POET tool. Teams should refer to the LEG as a guide for developing process evaluation strategies.

Diagnosing Organizational Systems

Organizations in China operate as open systems, and as such this framework focuses on:

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

inputs, the star model as a guide to understanding transformation, and outputs. External inputs include strong socio-economic influence of the governments and strong cultural values, both of which strongly influence an organization‟s internal operations/transformations. Focusing on inputs requires scanning for context, interdependence, and observable boundaries. Porter‟s Five Forces is a commonly referenced tool to help understand an organization‟s position within the industry. While the five forces analysis is a widely accepted approach, this framework suggests using Wang and Chang‟s alternate 5 forces developed specifically for China. Wang and Chang (2009) surveyed Chinese entrepreneurs and determined there should be more focus on collaboration than competition. The alternate five forces proposed for China include:

  • 1. Business purpose: The moral force of a business.

  • 2. Business climate: Describes the changing variables such as regulation, technology, competition, and customer values.

  • 3. Location: Taking factors into consideration such as distribution, labor, and environment.

  • 4. Organization: How business is organized and managed. This force in particular will play an important role to the consultants as Wang and Chang refer to the increasing importance of this force as “local people see things differently”.

  • 5. Business Leaders: Central to the other four forces is the business leader. This is the equivalent to Porter‟s central focus of competition. The key here for our work is the description of the values of the Chinese leader as wisdom, sincerity, human- heartedness, courage, and strictness.

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

Data Collection

Once the consultant understands inputs using Wang and Chang‟s alternate 5 forces model, focus turns to transformation of the inputs. This framework focuses on collecting data for each element of the star model. Data will be collected via observation, interviews and document collection, being mindful that knowledge and insight into the organization‟s strategy will live at the top of the organization chart with the business leaders. To show respect for business leaders, the data collection team should begin the interviews with the highest ranking employee and ask permission to interview those lower in the hierarchy. The team can expect to observe more wait time, less eye contact, laughter as a sign of nervousness, less distance between individuals, and, little animation or emotion. The interviewer should be aware that little reaction does not necessarily translate to a lack of interest and should allow the interviewee space to formulate the answer and only clarify when asked. Following are key cultural assumptions for each element of the star model to be used as a guide. However, each client group is encouraged to 1) develop a plan to test cultural assumptions and 2) adopt the interview questions based on the specifics of each client engagement. Appendix E provides a summary of cultural assumptions and sample questions for each Star Model element.


When considering business strategy in China, we can expect to see both market-based competitive strategies and non-market based strategies. Market-based strategies are those typically focused on in Western cultures that take into account customers, competitors, and demand. Due to the intricate relationship between government and business in China, our assumption is that decision makers also consider the less publicized non-market based factors as

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

discussed in the input section to ensure not only good standing with the government, but also support and recognition. Zhou and Li confirm that “a local business leader will use their intimate knowledge of the Chinese context to devise business strategies to utilize these resources and support to the best of their advantage,” (Zhou & Li, 2005). Structure

Structure describes how attention and resources are focused on task accomplishment. We can expect to see strong hierarchical structures, as opposed to a matrix or flat structure. The

business leaders are a central force of the organization; we expect a top down structure for feeding information and decision-making. Because of the general lack of trust outside an

individual‟s collective network, employee loyalty will likely be attached to an individual boss or

leader within their trusted circles as opposed to the organization as a whole. Additionally,

management may be seen as “parental” figures with employees.

Processes & Technology

In terms of Processes & Technology, Chinese organizations tend to operate as machines rather than organisms. Based on our readings, we can expect clearly defined roles, processes, and

control systems within the organizations and little cross-functional coordination and collaboration within the lower levels of the organizational. Data collection regarding processes and technology can help test our assumptions that information will travel up the hierarchy and back down when cross-functional collaboration or decision-making is necessary.

Human Resources In the 1950‟s, China‟s personnel management systems, which were referred to as the „iron rice bowl,‟ focused on three pillars: (1) life-time employment (2) centrally administered wages (3) state controlled appointment and promotion of managerial staff (Warner, 2008).

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

Though this system has evolved significantly over a series of legislation and new labor laws are now in place that more mimic western HR management systems, influences from earlier years are still evident and a hybrid of the two likely paints a more realistic picture of what we can expect to see for a local Chinese organization (Warner, 2008). Data collection for HR systems can help gauge how much China has adapted to newer labor legislation and systems as opposed to earlier methods of personnel management. Additionally, a high power distance in China indicates hierarchy and power hold much value and employees will rarely oppose decisions or processes set in place by positions of authority. In the same way, managers will not likely get involved in low level tasks as it may hurt their credibility. In general, we can expect job roles to be clearly defined with frequent and informal feedback to employees.

Measurement Systems

When gathering data for measurement system, we anticipate that metrics are developed at the top of the structure, resulting in little buy in of the metric chosen from lower levels. We may

likely find metrics monitored from lower levels will be met or exceeded at an outstanding rate as they carry high stakes in terms of job performance. Where metrics are monitored at the top, some research has brought to light where leaders use whatever means, including violating labor and environmental protection laws or illegally accumulating huge public debt, to achieve their goal (Burns & Zhiren, 2010).

Data Analysis

Once data is collected for each element of the star model, this framework moves to data

analysis. Data analysis can be quantitative or qualitative and should be tailored to the client project and the Chinese culture. Qualitative techniques are content analysis (grouping and summarizing the data into meaningful categories) and force field analysis, which is based on

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

Lewin‟s work (buckets information into two categories – the forces for change and the forces to maintaining status quo/resisting change, which can be prioritized and ranked according to the strengths of the forces based on current and higher levels of performance) (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p.130). Due to the limited nature of the client engagement and translation, we can assume a qualitative data analysis approach and should have awareness that there may be hidden data (language translation or interpretation) and should ensure the data collected was designed with clear and simple explanation to avoid misinterpretation that could go into the data analysis and feedback.


Using the framework on feeding back diagnostic information (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 139), once the data has been summarized, the next step is providing feedback based on the results. It is important to go back to the client contract before moving forward. What was originally contracted? With the Tomato project, a case study via PowerPoint project summary,

with the Vocational Technical and Foreign Language schools, there is no client information and scope at this point in time; however, one piece will be to provide the final results and supporting data and when the project intent is matured, the team will align the feedback methods to the project. The feedback must have the following characteristics: relevant to the client and problem statement, understandable and interpretable from a Chinese lens, descriptive, verifiable (linked to

the data/“trust but verify”), timely (quick feedback), limited (make it simple), significant, comparative (if possible, benchmark data), and un-finalized (data is data and should be viewed as a stimulus for action). It will be important to keep feedback directed to the problem statement and to keep data analysis findings simple and not overly complex. Some recommendations are to use a strengths-based approach, ensure the feedback does not “point fingers” at an individual

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment

(especially a senior leader), and is tailored to motivating change in the organization. Feedback from the client may not come directly from the meeting itself, as the clients may want to reflect on the information presented and want to conduct conversations in a more private setting. The team may defer to the senior leader to provide the feedback as the voice for the organization.

Evaluation Steps after the Diagnosis, Feedback, and Action Phase

After all diagnosis, feedback, and action activities have been conducted, the team should have carried out their process and outcome evaluations. Using the data collected to answer each

evaluation question, the team should develop a short statement (1-2 sentences) that answers each evaluation question. These should be tracked in POET.


Since our approach incorporates evaluation into every step of the consulting process, the

final evaluation stage will consist of a collective assessment of each phase‟s process and

outcome evaluations listed in the POET tool. Once these have been compiled, each team will analyze the evaluation results to determine if their learning goals and their intervention goals have been achieved. If this cannot be determined, new evaluation strategies should be developed and carried out to get additional data. Once the final evaluations have been conducted, each team will conduct a final debrief on the progress they made toward achieving their process and outcome evaluation goals to capture learnings.


This consulting approach brings together our best thinking as it relates to culturally adapting our method for contracting with Chinese clients; conducting diagnosis, feedback and interventions in a Chinese organization; and evaluating our client work from both a process and an outcome perspective in a Chinese context. The China Red Team is excited to implement this

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment approach and track our progress and learning.

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment


Bergstrom, M. (February 20, 2014). Interview by A.B. Carson. Contract negotiations in China, MSOD Program. Portland, OR. Block, P. (2011). Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass & Pfeiffer. Burns, J. and Zhiren, Z. (2010). Performance Management in the Government of the People‟s Republic of China: Accountability and Control in the Implementation of Public Policy.

OECD Journal of Budgeting, Volume 2012-2.

China Cultural Information in R3 Culture Wizard. Retrieved 02/28/2014:

Cummings, T. and Worley, C. (2009). Organization Development & Change, 9 th Ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Holt, C. (n.d.). University of Kansas Community Toolbox. Retrieved from http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/evaluate/evaluation/evaluation-plan/tools McGregor, J. (2007). One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China. New York: The Free Press. Morgan, G. (2006). Images of Organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Porter, M. (2008). The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy. Harvard Business Review,


Wang, W. and Chang, P. (2009). Entrepreneurship and Strategy in China: Why „Porter‟s Five Forces‟ May Not Be. Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship, 1, (1) 53-64.

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment



MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment


INSTRUCTIONS: Coordinate a meeting with your consulting team that will take no longer than 30 minutes of your time. The following questions should be asked in order to develop your learning evaluation strategies throughout your project engagement in China.

  • 1. What are our individual goals for this consulting experience? How will we use self as instrument to help achieve those goals?

  • 2. What are our team‟s goals for this consulting experience? How can we contribute to each other‟s goals as we work together as a group? What do we want to learn about working in a team, consulting in cross-cultural organizations, and trans- organizational development while in China?

  • 3. What kind of data do we want to use to determine whether or not we‟ve gotten what we wanted out of this experience? What creative ways can we use to measure whether or not we‟ve accomplished the goals we identified? What are we going to commit to in order to assess the learning at the end of the engagement?

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment


Evaluation Question in the PHASE


Type of Data Collection

Evaluation Result



i.e., how did we adapt to the client’s national


Survey, Structure


culture during this meeting?

Group debrief and feedback from

Dialogue, Self Report,


Direct Observation











i.e., did we capture all the necessary information in order to conduct a successful engagement?

Define interventions that will support desired outcomes

Survey, Structure Dialogue, Self Report, Direct Observation










* This tool was modified from the University of Kansas Community Toolbox (Holt)

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment




MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment



Cultural Assumptions

Sample Questions


Knowledge of Strategy will live at the top of the organization with the business leaders

What is your mission, vision, purpose?

Combination of market based strategy and non- market based strategy

What are your goals and objectives?


Business leaders will not likely publicize the non- market based strategies

What are your products and services?

Who is your target market?

What is your competitive advantage?

What strategies help you best execute your competitive advantage?


Hierarchical structure for information and decision- making

What are the core units of work performed in your organization?

Business leaders are a central force for the organization

How is work divided? (function, product/service, geography, matrix)


Relationships are critical in the organizational structure

What are the similarities and differences between how the subunits function?

How is work organized between subunits?

How are decisions made?


Operate as machines rather than organisms

How do departments work together? (seeks to understand the level of technical interdependence and technical uncertainty)

Processes & Technology

Little cross-functional coordination and collaboration within the lower levels of the organizational chart

How much variation is there in processes (drives amount of and ability to routinize processes)

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment


Information and decision-making travels up the hierarchy and back down for information sharing and decision making

How is work coordinated on the lower levels of the organization chart?


HR will be a mix of old personnel management systems and newly established Western policies and legislation

Where and how do you recruit most employees?

Frequent and informal feedback for employees

Will you provide insight into average length of service and employee turnover rates? What is the preferred method of recruiting employees?

Job roles will be clearly defined

Are job roles clearly defined?

HR / People

Training and development opportunities are valued in the culture and will be available to employees

What types of training and development opportunities does your organization offer?


Is the companies benefit pack competitive to the marketplace?

Are compensation plans competitive?

Succession Planning

Does the Organization have a succession plan?

Performance review

How often is feedback given to employees? What methods are used?


Choice of Key Performance Index

Who is responsible for choosing the metric measured?

Measurement Systems

Operational and Financial Planning

Do your KPI's roll up into an annual inter-department plan? Or are they independent measures Year over year?

Monitoring processes, clockworks and KPI's

How do you monitor the work being done?


How do you manage deviations?

What data do you gather on the work being done?


How are performance measures rewarded?

MSOD 620 Red Team Assignment