Jody Jacobson


Transforming “Accidental Adversaries” Dynamics in Client Systems and Ourselves

This dissertation is a story about a company that found itself entrenched in an escalating dynamic known as accidental adversaries. The dynamic stifles collaboration and innovation, and is a leading preventable cause of limited growth in organizations.

The dissertation also tells the story of reconstructing the traditional consultant!s role from expert observer to reflexive coach and partner.

The case that set this dissertation in motion took place at CT, Inc., a high tech company based in the Silicon Valley region of California, USA. The company had recently acquired a software company from which it imported a cadre of engineers and managers. Shortly following the merger, a new, high profile CEO was hired to leverage further development and delivery of a key technological breakthrough.

At the time of the study, the company was being heralded widely in technology and business media both for its recent technical innovation and business turnaround. During the course of the project interviews, however, a different story began to unfold. Groups that needed to collaborate in order to innovate and grow the company, instead appeared to be working at cross-purposes, embroiled in a counter-productive adversarial dynamics.