The HR Consultant: a Masterclass with Bill Pelster

Our #1 Most Popular Course in The Academy!

As HR professionals continue to solve new problems and partner with every part of the business, our roles as practitioners have changed. Increasingly, the most valued HR leaders are consultants. Though our clients are internal employees and leaders, the skill set we need is very similar to management consulting.

But what does it mean to take a consultative approach to HR? And how do we grow and develop the skills we need to be effective consultants to the rest of the organization? That’s what this Masterclass is all about.

Bill Pelster has led hundreds of multi-million dollar projects through his leadership roles at Deloitte, PwC, and the US Military. He follows a five step approach to effective consulting that can be applied to both formal consulting projects and internal projects that demand a consultative approach:

Understand the Context
Identify the Client(s)
Clarify the Problem(s)
Identify Solution(s)
Manage Stakeholders

As you move through the Masterclass, you’ll see how the consulting mindset is very different from that of a typical "HR problem-solver." You’ll apply what you learn to a case study threaded throughout the Field Manuals in order to put your newly honed consulting skills to work immediately. This is our #1 class in the Academy! Join us!

  • ApproachOnline social learning, teams of 30-50

  • Learning Time3-5 Hours

  • Duration5 weeks. Next starting: November 6, 2023
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Key Questions You’ll Explore in this Program

Why are consultative skills increasingly important to our work in HR?

What does a consultative mindset or approach to HR look like?

What HR work today would be best served by a consultative framework?

What are some techniques or practices for simplifying the complex?

What unique value do HR professionals bring to the process of crafting solutions?

What are the essential elements of a good project plan, and how can it help with stakeholder management?

Field Manuals

The HR Consultant: a Masterclass with Bill Pelster is made up of 5 Field Manuals (our version of an online module). Each one contains a variety of types of content and social exercises culminating in a mini-project, reflection, or debate. Each Field Manual will take you between 30-45 minutes to complete but you can jump on and off at your own pace, as often as you’d like. The deeper learning happens in the discussions with your fellow learners so be sure to check in on the conversations regularly.

Setting the Context

Our work in HR increasingly requires taking a consultative approach, reflecting the evolution of the function and the growing complexity of modern business. What can we learn from the way consultants work, and how can we apply it to HR?

Clarifying the Problem(s)

The ability to simplify complex ideas and concepts is a key skill for any consultant. This Field Manual examines what it means to make the complex simple, how to clarify and unpack a problem, and why these skills are so important to any consulting work.

Uncovering the Solution(s)

Once we understand the context and have clarified the problems, uncovering solutions is next. This Field Manual explores the challenges and the opportunities of devising solutions in the consultative context.

Navigating Stakeholders

The greatest solutions in the world will fall flat if we don’t also take the time to bring our clients and stakeholders on the journey with us. This Field Manual focuses on the ever-important practice of stakeholder management and provides practical advice for doing it well.

Final Assessment

This Field Manual brings our Masterclass to a close with a review of the key components of the consulting approach, a final assessment, and an opportunity to practice pitching your new skills to your organization or get real-time feedback on any consulting projects you are already working on.

This Program was created by:

Unlike other types of Programs in the JBA, the Masterclass centers on gathering the insights, learning, and stories of a single expert. It offers a deep dive into the knowledge and skills today’s HR professionals need to grow in our careers and make change within our organizations. Our guide for The HR Consultant is the JBA’s own Chief Client Officer, Bill Pelster. In addition to being the Chief Learning Officer at Deloitte, Bill has over 20 years of consulting experience, working across North America, Europe, and Asia.