Project Portfolio – Consulting Skills Training

Pacific Gas & Electric 1991

Objectives

In 1991, PG&E was in the midst of a corporate reorganization in preparation for the implementation of deregulation in its gas and electricity businesses. In the revised organization, the centralized Engineering Standards Group was expected to become a provider of engineering services to district offices. In this new role, it would no longer be able to demand that its services be used or its standards followed. PG&E recognized that their professional staff was being asked to accept vastly different roles and employed the Consulting Skills for Professionals workshop to help people in the Engineering Standards Group to understand and learn skills for these roles.

Fall Line’s Role

Fall Line Systems instructed the Consulting Skills for Professionals workshop for senior professionals in the Engineering Standards Group. The workshop clarifies the consultant-client relationship and roles. Professionals are introduced to a partnership model where professional and client play a 50-50 role in the success of a consultation.

Results

Initially, many of the professional staff was skeptical that deregulation would ever occur, or that there could be technical or business benefits to acting as a partner with the districts. Over the three day workshops, most people came to understand the new expectations; a high percentage became excited about the opportunity to exercise new skills and to achieve more than they had through their old approach.