Our national attention finally turned to our aging transportation infrastructure this past decade, although we’ve just begun to restructure and fund these priorities.
But we may be even father behind in communications technology, despite private and public efforts. Most people’s eyes glaze over when you mention ” broadband”.
Here’s a good article that presents a different meme, “soft infrastructure”. While it will never overcome the focus on Dancing with the Stars, maybe this can better capture our group consciousness and attention, so we can really do something about it.
You’re finally going to do it. You are a born again believer in the benefits of business and strategic planning. To prepare you for the plunge here’s some rules of the road to guide you through the process.
The planning process can be exhilarating, frustrating, enlightening, demanding and a host of other descriptive adjectives. Hopefully you’ll find a nugget or two in these do’s and don’ts that will keep the emphasis on the positives of your unique organizational growth experience. Carpe Diem!
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.“-Dwight D. Eisenhower
We all need good information to monitor and manage our organizations. We need timely, efficient and effective management information to drive the decision-making process. To meet these needs, managers should be aware of the available criteria for a proper evaluation.
“You can not feed the hungry on statistics.“-Wilfred Laurier
The following 14 evaluative criteria are offered as a frame of reference for the planning, developing and monitoring of organizational information needs.
It is important to note that proper use of the criteria will involve the assessment of qualitative as well as quantifiable attributes and will require dealing in the unfamiliar and uncomfortable qualitative arena. Also, since the criteria will not generally carry equal weight, management will need an adequate grasp of the critical criteria of its own organization. Use of the evaluative criteria should, however, provide a framework for “relative ranking” of competing data requests and thus allow for a rational allocation of available organizational resources. The evaluation job will still be difficult, but a systematic approach should increase the likelihood that all the “bases” will be covered.
WHAT CRITERIA TO LOOK FOR: 14 TO BENCHMARK AGAINST (more…)
Does your score keeping track useful metrics? Or does it produce data that no one really uses? Finding the right metrics is not always an easy task. A good place to start is to challenge what you are currently producing. Who gets it? Do they use it? Is it what they need?
Times do change! What might have been helpful in 1975 might no longer does the trick. Let me share with you a story about a new plant manager we’ll call Tom who was assigned to turn around a troubled manufacturing facility several decades ago.
“We are glutted with data and yet there is a shortage of wisdom”- Michael Toms
That seemingly constant, gusting wind I cursed when I lived in Grande Prairie, Alberta, had a different look and feel for Drennen and Jamie Hallett. It was the whiff of opportunity.
The Hallett’s, owners of Golden Sheep Power, officially opened their doors for business in Grande Prairie on February 1, 2009. They will be the first company in Alberta to offer home-owners a chance to get off the grid by using home-based wind turbines and solar panels.
A NEW WIND IS BLOWING
Their timing could not be better. The provincial government just passed regulations to allow for micro-generation in Alberta. And the City of Grande Prairie, a city that has seen explosive growth in the past 5 years due to oil and gas exploration, has shown its openness to explore other sources of energy by allowing the Halletts to set up a pilot project to demonstrate and test the home-based units.
WHAT ARE THE PEBBLES IN YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL SHOES?
Every organization has some disconnects in their business model or operations. Acknowledging that fact is a healthy first step. Some are obvious while many lurk undetected due to complacency, cultural blinders or simply bad habits.
Some are internal inconsistencies which in theory are easier to fix while some are due to external factors which might be beyond the control of the impacted organization.
If you have the courage to look there are some steps your can employ to improve the situation.
Our team is well balanced. We have problems everywhere. – Tommy Prothro
King Arthur had his Knights of the Round Table. Shouldn’t you have a similar team of sage advisors? Keep in mind that even Tiger Woods has a coach.
Most business owners have an aversion towards a formal board of directors and in today’s litigious society, formal board members are harder to entice. But there is an attractive alternative. It’s called an Advisory Board. The informality and flexibility give it it’s power. Here are some suggestions to consider in the formation and continuance of such a group.
Teamwork is essential. It allows you to blame someone else. – Finagle’s Eighth Rule
We all have habits. Some good and some not so good. It’s the same for our organizations. Some foster organizational progress and some detract from it. Are the ingrained habits at your organization working to benefit the company or are they aiding and abetting the competition?
Old habits die hard. That’s why they are called habits. But when habits prevent fresh thinking, become out of date routine patterns, or become mindless repetition, habits can become disruptive.
Polarization, whether intentional or unintentional, can acerbate a situation and make a healthy and productive dialogue difficult. Once people feel insulted, they do not make very good listeners. As we are well aware, these are chaotic times. Opinions differ and passions can run extremely deep.