Welcome to the Catalog of Courses and Certificate-Series

Each course provides the foundational knowledge and resources from which to build your professional development in a certain topic.  Each Certificate-Series provides a highly integrated set of courses from which to develop a certain skill set that is critical to successful consulting. 

The courses and Certificate-Series are useful to you, whether you are a new or highly experienced consultant, a specialist or generalist, an internal or external consultant, and working with nonprofits, for-profits or government. 

For more information about CDI, see the main website at ConsultantsDevelopmentInstitute.org . A new browser window will take you outside of this Learning Management System.

Organizational Consultant

Components of Each Course

Each course has a "Start Here" document that specifies how to proceed through the course.  Standard components include:

  1. Pre-assessment of your current level of learning about the topic of the course before you complete the course.   (Optional)
  2. "Learning and Development Journal" to enhance your learning before, during and after the course.  (Required for a Certificate)
  3. Handouts to reference during the video.  (Required for a Certificate)
  4. Video/lecture, including questions and exercises for reflection and learning.  (Required for a Certificate)
  5. Suggested Sources for Additional Learning, including interactive exercises, free online articles, suggested books, questions for reflection and discussion, an online networking group and a vast range of free resources about consulting.  (Optional)
  6. Post-assessment of your level of new learning about the topic from having taken the course.  (Required for a Certificate)
  7. Course evaluation about the quality of the course (the evaluation activity itself also enhances your learning).  (Requested)

Be Sure to First Create an Account -- Then Enroll

  1. If you do not have an account in this Learning Management System, then please create one now.  Your account information will not be shared outside the faculty of CDI. 
  2. Then click on the desired course or Certificate-Series from the list below.
  3. Then enter the payment information in the PayPal button near the bottom of the page.  It accepts all major credit cards. 

Catalog of Courses and Certificate-Series (listed in alphabetical order)

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(This is a Series of courses, rather than one course.)  This Series is for those who seek to expand their understanding of themselves and their clients, both intrapersonally and interpersonally, in order to strengthen their impact as consultants. They seek more "people" skills and tools, especially to work successfully with highly diverse or stressed clients in teams and organizations.  Learners can earn a Certificate in Authentic Engagement With Clients.

(This is a Series of courses, rather than one course.)  The Series conveys the core knowledge and skills that underlies successful consulting in any kind of organization.  This Series equips you to use a non-proprietary, systematic and highly adaptable framework to solve complex problems and achieve significant goals in the workplace -- whether you are an independent consultant or a leader in an organization.  Learners can earn a Certificate in Collaborative Consulting. 

(This is a Series of courses, rather than one course.)  The purpose of this highly accessible Series is to spread the core knowledge and skills needed to successfully facilitate strategic planning in any type of organization. The focus is on highly customizing the planning process and facilitating the necessary strategic discussions to produce a plan that is relevant, realistic and flexible.  Learners develop their own Strategic Plan by completing a highly adaptable template during the courses.  Learners can earn a Certificate in Facilitating Strategic Planning.  This Series provides free access to the courses and materials.  The Certificate requires a fee.

(This is a Series of courses, rather than one course.)  This Series can increase your credibility and impact with your clients by improving your understanding of organizations and how they work. You’ll grasp key principles for guiding successful change, the barriers that can occur and how to overcome them. You’ll learn core strategies to recommend to your clients so their organizations can thrive well into the future.  Learners can earn a Certificate in Principles in Organizational Consulting. 

(This is a Series of courses, rather than one course.)  This Series is for consultants who want the practical knowledge and tools to understand the field of consulting and how consultants work in a highly professional, safe and ethical manner. This might include those new to the field of consulting or those who work in highly diverse and/or ethically challenged situations.  Learners can earn a Certificate in Principles in Professional Consulting. 

This concise and practical course and its downloadable tools define strategic planning and its many benefits  They explain the key differences between the strategic planning process in for-profits and nonprofits, and how to translate terms between the two.  They explain the standard planning framework and the different ways you can modify it to suit the nature and needs of your organization. They also share numerous tips on enhancing strategic planning in any type of organization. 

The benefits of a collaborative approach to consulting are many, including that it 1) more quickly identifies the real causes of your clients’ problems, 2) cultivates the commitment and participation needed to implement action plans to solve problems, 3) and generates deep learning for you and your client. This is true whether you are an external or internal consultant, a generalist or specialist, or work in for-profits, nonprofits or government.  Guidelines in this course will help you to work with your client in a collaborative approach that is open and honest and is based on clear and supportive communication.

Coaching is a very powerful method to support others through the challenges and complexities of undergoing change in their lives and organizations.  This course shares practical guidelines to initiate and conduct powerful coaching conversations with your clients, at the right time and in the right way. The course shares basic tools to use in any coaching situation, to support your client to clarify current priorities, identify relevant and realistic actions to address them – and to learn at the same time. 

The collaborative consulting cycle provides a flexible framework in which you and your clients continually coordinate, dialogue and learn about the best actions to take to improve the performance of their organizations.  This course explains the dynamics in the cycle and the roles in it, including which roles you do, your client does, and you both do together.  It explains how to ensure your clients are involved, even when they’re already extremely busy in their organizations.  Each phase of the cycle is also explained. 

Organizations are changing like never before.  Professional consultants should recognize those changes and the forces that are causing them. Consultants should be equipped to explain those changes and forces to their clients, and suggest suitable strategies to respond them.  This course explains the most important trends affecting the organizations that you serve, and the effects of those trends. It concisely depicts the comparison between the old paradigm of operating organizations versus the new paradigm that affects us all, and describes new structures and strategies that all types of organizations are using to remain strong and sustainable.

There is no one specific way to do strategic planning that works all the time for every purpose of strategic planning in every type organization. While a seemingly standardized process might quickly produce a Strategic Plan document, it too often results is an irrelevant and unrealistic plan that is hardly strategic. This course shares practical guidelines and handouts to help you quickly customize a planning process that will produce a Strategic Plan to suit the nature and needs of your organization.

In this course, you can begin drafting your Strategic Plan document by completing a template that can be adapted for many different models of strategic planning.  That includes drafting your mission statement, analyzing the outside and inside of your organization, analyzing the results of what you found, and deciding your strategic priorities to reach your preferred future.  You also plan how to distinguish your organization according to its core competencies and unique value proposition. 

Groups are frequently used in consulting projects and in organizations.  For example, you might use a group as a Project Team of employees from your client’s organization to partner with you during a consulting project.  As an external or internal consultant, you might be asked to facilitate groups in an organization, ranging facilitating Board development to strategic planning.   Therefore, a critical skill for consultants, including facilitators, is to successfully build and facilitate various types of groups for different purposes.  Whether you are an external or internal consultant, the guidelines in this course will help you to develop that skill.

Consultants should be comfortable recognizing – and working in – both the “people” side and the “business” side of organizations.  They should also have at least a basic understanding of the areas outside and around the client's problem area, so the results of their consulting do not damage other parts of the organization – and so that their successes are not somehow soon damaged by other parts, as well.  Consultants should also have clear perspective, not only on the parts of a system, but how they should be integrated and aligned.  Guidelines and handouts in this course will equip a consultant to do that.

An understanding of performance management is critical to have if you are to be a successful consultant for organizational change in organizations.  Performance management shows you exactly where your project fits into your client’s overall organization. It helps you and your client to always be focused on the most important goals and how to achieve them. It ensures that you are continually monitoring your progress and making the most appropriate adjustments along the way. It helps you avoid doing change for the sake of change.  This course clearly explains the performance management process and how it can be applied to your client’s organization and any system within it.

This course guides you to associate useful and accurate action plans for each strategic priority in your Strategic Plan.  Then you rank the strategic priorities to ensure you are addressing them in the most effective order.  The course also explains how to select the best formats of your Strategic Plan document to suit the different audiences for your Plan.  Then you are ready to communicate various parts of your Plan to different groups of stakeholders. The course ends by verifying your Plan is realistic to implement.  

When working to accomplish significant change in an organization, it’s not enough to use only broad philosophical generalizations any more than it’s enough to use one specific procedure.  It requires a highly collaborative approach between the consultant and client to implement a change-management plan based on research-based approaches to planning and managing change.  This course explains the foundational principles and practices for successful change, including to ensure continued focus on performance, change and learning. 

The purposes of this first phase in consulting are to decide if there is a good fit between you and your client, how you both can benefit from that fit in a consulting project, and what the next steps in the project should be. This phase is where a strong working relationship between you and your client can start. This is true whether you are an external or internal consultant.  Experts assert that this phase is one of the most – if not the most – important phases in the consulting process. Activities during this stage form the foundation for a successful consulting project.

In the previous phase of consulting, the Contracting Phase, you and your client decided that there was a good fit between the nature and needs of both of you, and you both formally decided to work together in a project. Now, in this Discovery Phase, you and your client will work together to understand more about the problem (the presenting priority) and how you can effectively address it. You will collect information about the priority (hopefully in a highly collaborative manner with your client), analyze it to identify findings and conclusions, and then make relevant and realistic recommendations from that information.  

In the previous phase of consulting, the Discovery Phase, you and your client conducted research to clarify the priority to address in your client's organization and what to do about it.  This Action Planning phase is focused on further clarifying those recommendations, along with developing them into various action plans, perhaps including plans for evaluation, communication, motivation and learning. The various plans are integrated into an overall plan, for example, a Change Management Plan. Thus, the early activities in this phase overlap and are a continuation with the activities near the end of the previous Discovery phase. This is true whether you are an external or internal consultant. 

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