I'm in Cairo today, Sunday, facilitating an organization design and development public program all day – it's day one of three days and with 23 people from a range of organizations I'm finding it very interesting to get a different cultural slant on the topic. The group members, all predominantly from an HR background have many, many questions about how to do organization design work. One that keeps coming up in various forms and also came up in the two organization design programmes I facilitated last week – so maybe it isn't national culture related but is more organizational culture and perceived value - is about the relationship of the consultant to the client: is the consultant a 'pair of hands', an expert advisor, a process consultant? This is something that in consulting skills terminology can often be sorted out in the initial 'contracting conversations' but consulting skills are not what a more traditionally trained HR person is equipped with. Peter Block, author of Flawless Consulting, a book I recommend on every organization design programme, runs a two day course on the contracting conversation. See a blog piece I wrote on it a couple of years ago.