Welcome to the December 2009 issue of Alignment Solutions! We have two exciting announcements this month:
• Our free interview series on how to set priorities so your organization can operate effectively will be available by the end of December! Over a dozen experts in setting and implementing priorities are part of the series called Deft Decisions in Chaotic Conditions: How Experts Create Order from Turmoil. Three of these experts are clinical psychologists who offer tips on how we can change our behaviors to ensure success in achieving our priorities. For a preview of the psychologists' suggestions, please see this month's Personal Solutions article. The entire series of 30-minute interviews will be available on my web site by the end of December.
• Coming in March 2010! You can have Pat Lynch as a mentor AND become part of a worldwide community of entrepreneurs. Pat is certified in Alan Weiss's Mentor Mastery™ Program. She has been mentored by, and personally trained with, Dr. Alan Weiss for over three and a half years, and is one of fewer than two dozen people globally approved to mentor at this level. In addition to having access to the vast experience you see on Pat's web site, you will be admitted to Alan Weiss's Private Roster Mentor Program Community, which enables you to continue to work personally with Pat while engaging in experiences with colleagues worldwide, including a 24/7 private forum, monthly newsletter, annual Mentor Summits, mastermind groups, and a host of other opportunities. You can click here to learn about the Private Roster Mentor Program. Substantially accelerate your personal and professional growth by working with Pat in a customized, personalized relationship, while gaining access to a vibrant global community of over 700 entrepreneurs. This personal/global combination is a unique mentoring experience that is only available through Pat Lynch.
Our new article series called Research News You Can Use selects findings of academic research that are applicable in the workplace, and suggests how you might implement them in your organization.
December Topic: The Value of Setting Workplace Priorities
Premise: Supervisors who identify and communicate clear organizational priorities create an environment in which certain employees are motivated to perform at higher levels than they do when such priorities are not identified. Learn how to influence employee performance by creating this type of environment.
This month's theme is "how to allocate scarce resources." Many organizations are at a loss as to how to set priorities and move forward effectively in the aftermath of devastating budget cuts, furloughs, and/or layoffs. Their leaders literally do not know where to begin. Our articles this month offer specific suggestions to help get things moving again productively, regardless of your current situation.
The Feature Article, "Guidelines for Allocating Scarce Resources," offers a framework for making decisions about how to allocate scarce resources so that the organization is able to achieve its mission. It defines two key concepts, critical functions and critical skills, and explains why addressing them is essential to organizational success.
In "What Do We Do Now?: How to Make Decisions Within the Constraints Imposed by Resource Scarcity," the Business Solutions section identifies two sets of decision-making options in crisis conditions, analyzes the possible alternatives available under each set, and makes recommendations for successful implementation of the outcomes.
In the Personal Solutions section, "Take Their Advice: Psychologists' Tips for Setting and Implementing Priorities" provides experts' insights and suggestions for improving skills related to setting and implementing priorities and goals.
I invite you to visit my web site at www.BusinessAlignmentStrategies.com and my blog at www.OptimizeBusinessResults.com to find other articles and resources that may be of value to you and your colleagues. I welcome your feedback!
Guidelines for Allocating Scarce Resources
Scarce resources are a fact of business life. In the wake of devastating budget cuts, furloughs, and/or layoffs, however, "normal" levels of scarcity have been exacerbated. The question for many organizations has become, "How do we move forward from here most effectively?"
When asked to help clients answer that question, I recommend that they begin by identifying some crucial information that will guide their subsequent actions and decisions.
To illustrate the above concepts a little more clearly, let's consider a fire department whose mission is to save lives and preserve property. Most people would agree that critical functions are putting out fires and providing emergency medical care to accident victims. However, other critical functions include communication, vehicle maintenance, and payroll. Here's why: without learning of the incidents and dispatching the appropriate people and equipment, without vehicles that operate safely when needed, and without paying those who provide the services, the fire department could not achieve its primary mission. Non-critical functions for the department may include getting cats out of trees and transporting people to hospitals who are not seriously ill and/or can use alternative means of getting there.
Some skills are critical for the fire department by virtue of the fact that specialized knowledge or expertise is necessary (e.g., dealing with hazardous materials, providing appropriate medical care). Other skills are critical because they are not readily available in the relevant labor market in the short-run (e.g., maintaining mission-critical computer systems, repairing vehicles).
Resources will remain uncommonly scarce in the near-term. What steps are you taking to ensure you allocate them in ways that allow your organization to achieve its mission?