At New Mexico State we use WEB CT to record relevant excerpts from your field notes (journal) of your visits to client firms.  To code be sure to use SELECT TOPIC when composing your copious field notes in WEB CT. SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTING is a Learning Laboratory where the 448/548 teams are part of a Learning Organization. This means that you can look at how other teams are coding the same sorts of problems, and running into similar situations. Here are some steps to follow to get you started.

STEP 1:  Get to know the ONLINE WEB CT code book, (ENTER WEB CT HERE); it has all the latest codes. If you want a printable version with better headings, try this one that is not in WEB CT area. If you can not identify the CODE you need for your utterance, then use the NEW CATEGORY selection - and inform the course TA (  so he and I, can move your item into a newly created category (or find one that fits that is already there). Coding is an activity that must be done immediately after EACH of your field visits.  Please code as you go, after each visit,  for best results. (Enter your course ID and CODE, or for new students, use ID=aggie359 CODE=adventure).

STEP2: Print out a copy of the Codebook Buy a bound (medium size) notebook (no loose leaf, invest in yourself). You will write your field observations and what your interviewee says in this notebook and bring it to class for review and grading.

SUGGESTION: To code, first highlight sections of your journal field notes using different colored markers, representing the six social performance codes (WCT, WOF, 3CD, TR, TC, & SP). In your  notebook margin, write down the most relevant CODE from your printout of CODE BOOK categories. If you do not find the code you need, please ask instructor or TA for help.

STEP 3: Review how SEAM Social Performance Areas are combined with 7 SEPTET Elements (TOP LEAF)

1. WCT Working Condition Themes
2. WOF Work Organization Frames
3. 3C's D - Communication, Coordination, Cooperation Dialogs
4. TR - Time Rhythms 
5. TC - Training Cast of  Characters
6. SP - Strategic Plots

7. SOCIO-ECONOMIC Spectacles

There are other CODES

8. HC - Hidden Cost (economic/accounting)- BOTTOM LEAF
9. ST - Structure (LEFT LEAF)
10. BE - Behaviors (RIGHT LEAF)

YOUR TASK - code the field notes you make from each of the ten or more required extended field visits. You are asked to make copious notes in a hard bound JOURNAL.

STEP 4: Mirror-Effect - You will Mirror Back the coded data to your client and include your entries in your final report.  For each entry in WEB CT, please include name of firm you study, date of the note, and type of person (e.g. manager/owner, staff, technical, etc.). Keep a copy of your entries made to WEB CT on a disk. This will be useful in assembling the Mirror Effect Report. Provide a complete verbatim entry based upon your field notes for that item. Entries are then organized by you into variable types, clustering them by type of interviewee.

In the SEAM training that consultants receive in France, they spend three full days a week in the field writing copious field notes, and two days each and every week putting their notes into codes, and entering these into the computer. 

WHAT are codes used for?

You use these code designations to build your SWOT, ROOT CAUSE, and STORY CHARTS. The main analysis is ROOT CAUSE (and STORY chart) -- this is where you see how the problem sets in Social Performance interact and weave together to form Nests of inter-related problems. You will find that node that connects to the most other problems in a ROOT CAUSE analysis and know that you have delved beneath the SURFACE (symptoms) and gotten to the ROOT causes. This is where you apply your energies to accomplish 2nd Order (total transformation) change. The problem the client hands you and your first impressions are NOT ROOT CAUSE PROBLEMS (they give you symptoms). Good consulting involves discipline, listening, patience, and good note keep. You are SHERLOCK HOLMES. Now find the root cause. Analyze and trace the roots, then you are learning the systemic issues, and becoming a future high paid and effective consultant.

The SEAM METHODOLOGY applies to leadership IN/OUT OF THE BOX web site,  and Theatre approach to consulting, called SEPTET  For applications see ENRON is METATHEATRE Web Site.

  Table 1

Out of the box

In the box




Box  Dimensions



X Behavior dimension (transaction/transformation)



Y Power dimension (will to serve/will to power)



Z Participation dimension (1 voice/many voices)

Inside Box



Traits (Myers & Briggs)




Situation of Box



Situation (time & place)



I hope you learn a lot form this activity.


David Boje