An outgrowth of the group therapy techniques popularized in the 1960s, the facilitative based consulting approach brought a group perspective to corporate problem solving. Control Self Assessment (CSA) epitomizes the best of this business improvement technique. A comprehensive tool for getting a total overview of the state of a companys current operational controls, risks, and needs, it outlines a group problem solving technique thats more analytic, tightly focused, and less expensive than traditional consulting. Instead of the typical one on one interview approach, CSA brings a companys staff together in face to face discussions of ongoing policies and practices, cutting across rank and departmental lines, and allowing for the fair expression of all viewpointsleading, ultimately, to collective solutions to commonly understood problems. The first comprehensive introduction to the mechanics of the CSA technique, Control Self Assessment offers CEOs, auditors, and departmental managers specific guidelines (including a 15 section process guide in the Appendix) and advice on gaining a candid, creative companywide meeting of minds. Unlike other forms of consulting that encourage participants to develop an idealized improvement plan set in the future, CSA focuses participants on the present. Using “polite interrogation” to elicit facts on the workings and issues of each department, CSA creates a multilayered, multifunctional took at a companys real internal operations and processesas currently seen by both executives and stakeholders. The books practical workbook approach allows a facilitator to truly understand the dynamics of CSA and put it to work as an information gathering tool:
The book also profiles an ideal CSA facilitator, and describes the attitudes and skills needed (including managing group emotions, managing difficult people, and using humor) to keep a workshop focused, constructive, and under control. It also details how to tailor the core of CSA techniques for assessing and controlling business risk as well as using CSA as a tool in sales consulting (with insight on what sort of facilitation to use). Control Self Assessment is the essential game plan for organizations in which CEOs and staff are determined to forge a single vision built on collective wisdom.