Without a deliberate approach to understanding organizational capacity, leaders run the risk of making short-term decisions that harm long-term value.
Business disruptions always bring organizational challenges – and we have never experienced a disruption quite like this one. But even the darkest clouds have silver linings. When your margins for error are slim, assessing your ability to adapt, change and deliver can have a multiplier effect on performance.
Organizational performance in both the government and private sectors depends upon the deployment and allocation of people, process and technology. The strengths and limitations of all three of these components come into sharp relief when faced with a dramatic change in circumstances. Here are some key questions to ask as a leader:
- Do we have the right people doing the right jobs?
- Do we have the right combination and quantity of talented employees to get our organization past the crisis periods and to excel when normalcy returns?
- Are our processes aligned to achieve the results we want? If not, what is getting in the way that can be eliminated or streamlined?
- Are we leveraging our technology resources to boost productivity? If not, where are the failure points?
Corporate inertia often results in process and technology “improvements” that end up hindering your people in the long-term. When you remove such obstacles during difficult times, often you find they were never needed in the first place. Here are some tools for determining a path to your organization’s best performance:
Knowledge, Skill and Abilities (KSA): Developing a “KSA Matrix” involves taking an employee-by-employee approach to ensuring job descriptions and responsibilities match the capacity of the personnel assigned. You can execute a KSA organization-wide or for key functions and departments. For example, you may have employees with purchasing backgrounds who are not adapting well to a professional procurement function that requires consideration of RFP development and best value. Or perhaps you have too many personnel assigned to a task that is no longer productive while other areas of your organization are understaffed. Asking these questions can have a dramatic impact on employee assignments, training and HR recruitment strategies (sometimes organizations aren’t even looking for the right people).
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT): Even when bandwidth is thin, it’s valuable to dedicate a couple of hours to documenting where you are strongest and weakest and where your greatest opportunities and most dangerous threats reside. A SWOT assessment can start as a leadership discussion, but you should also facilitate a conversation with other departments: IT, service delivery, HR, accounting – your frontline employees almost always have valuable perspectives that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of daily operations.
Process Mapping: Identifying and documenting individual process steps and decision points can be eye-opening. Not only does this activity find points where common-sense decisions (or heroic effort!) depart from written policy and procedure, it can also reveal internal control weaknesses, inefficient resource allocation and the dreaded “because we have always done it this way” justification.
These are just a few ideas to reveal the potential of your organization. Without a deliberate approach to understanding organizational capacity, leaders run the risk of making short-term decisions that harm long-term value. Sometimes an outside perspective helps considerably.
Weaver’s Risk Advisory Services team can bring the proven tools, expertise and professional facilitation you need to engage in deliberate and thoughtful conversations to help you through challenging times.
Contact us to find out how Weaver can work with you to assess your organizational capacity during these changing times.
Taking a close look at your team’s collective Knowledge, Skill and Abilities (KSA) can align your talent to organizational…
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