One set of skills that is critical in any organization is that of setting, aligning, and implementing priorities. These skills are particularly important today, as organizations struggle to “re-group” in the aftermath of radical changes caused by the economic downturn.

To gain some insight into these skills, I conducted a series of interviews with experts in this area, both first responders (e.g., from law enforcement, the fire service, an emergency aid agency) and non-first responders (e.g., business turnaround expert, professional organizer, fighter pilot turned entrepreneur). While each individual shared some unique perspectives, there were common themes as well. Here are seven elements based on those themes that you might find helpful in informing the process by which you set, align, and implement priorities.

  1. Identify and communicate a clear vision.
  2. Engage in advance planning.
  3. Build flexibility into your plans and processes.
  4. Develop trusting relationships with those you are working with and leading.
  5. Require leaders to set the example they want others to follow.
  6. Ensure the commitment of every person involved.
  7. Communicate clearly and frequently throughout the organization.
For in-depth explanations of these elements, please see the related article From Chaos to Calm: The Experts’ Guide to Setting Priorities on the Business Alignment Strategies web site.

Pat Lynch, Ph.D., is President of Business Alignment Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that helps clients optimize business results by aligning people, programs, and processes with organizational goals. You may contact Pat or call (562) 985-0333.

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