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07 Small Group_consulting Paper

07 Small Group_consulting Paper

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Published by: owenshill on Jan 31, 2012
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Running head: THE GREEN TEAM 1
 The Green Team: Recommendations forQueens University of Charlotte’s Sustainability CouncilDavid Owens-HillQueens University of CharlotteApril 29, 2011
 
THE GREEN TEAM 2
The Queens University of Charlotte Sustainability Council is a cross-disciplinework team composed of volunteers from across the multiple service-areas of theuniversity. It is lead by the Vice President of Campus Planning and Services and hosts acollection of staffers from Marketing, Student Life, Campus Services, as well as faculty.To understand the brief case presented in the following paragraphs, we will first examinesome of the cast:
 
Bill N.: the appointed-leader of the small group
 
Reena A.: a reluctant member of the group, responsible for media-relations
 
David H.: responsible for printed collateral and publicity
 
Amber P.: responsible for student involvement
 
Patrick M.: Amber’s “right-hand man”
 
Carrie D.: a reluctant member of the group, a member of the Earth Science faculty
 
Reed P.: a member of the group who rarely attends meetings
 
Jenny S.: a member of the group who acts as team secretary/registrarTogether, the 8 players in this group represent a cross-section of the university and aretasked with the “advancement of sustainability initiatives” across the campus. Theindividuals listed above represent the member of the Sustainability Council who are mostoften in attendance at meetings, but are just over half of the 14-person team. Most of themembers of the team were motivated to join by a commitment to like-goals, defined byHarris and Sherblom as “the reasons, purposes, and goals that draw us to groups” (2011,p. 11). The two members listed above as “reluctant members” were assigned by someoneelse; again, referring to Harris and Sherblom’s descriptions: “in any organization thereare necessary–sometimes arbitrary–assignments to groups. Participation can, nonetheless,still be surprising, rewarding and fun” (2011, p. 12). We are fortunate in our evaluation of this group that the reluctant members were not arbitrary assignments—their work-roles
 
THE GREEN TEAM 3
supported the needs of the group—but their participation must be viewed through areality filter; they would often prefer to be doing something else.The group has, in the past year, accumulated some success in their mission;recently, on their recommendation, the president of the university signed a commitmentletter to reduce the institution’s carbon footprint by a significant percentage and under theguidance of the group the university has seen a tremendous increase in recycling, wastereduction and energy conservation. After a year of hard work and increasing recognitionby the power-centers of the organization within which it exists, the group is achievingsynergy. Synergy, defined as “several individuals working together and building on eachother’s strengths to generate more and better solutions than if people worked alone”(McShane & van Glinow, 2000, p. 312) will be shown to be a necessary precursor toSocial Capital in a future section.The group’s long-term goals are loosely defined as advancing and promoting (aswell as communicating) the university’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, “green” thecampus by encouraging recycling and waste-reduction programs, and to champion theuniversity’s sustainability efforts as central to our core values. In the short-term, the teamwas tasked with establishing a week of events surrounding Earth Day as a celebration of the earth and as a reward for a year of successful work.
Earth Week, 2011
 Earth day, an event held annual since 1970, works with “partners in over 192countries to broaden, diversity and mobilize the environmental movement withprogramming that ranges from voter registration to ‘greening’ schools and industries to

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