How to Manage Your Resources

The sooner we realize this, and understand that it is our responsibility to manage our resources by aligning their skills and time commitment with actions that serve the business, the sooner we will no longer think that everyone sucks. Try the following:

  • Understand Time Commitment and Skill Set. Understand each person’s time commitment and his/her specific set of skills and compensation arrangement.
  • Assign Tasks Appropriate for Commitment, Compensation and Skill Set. Align their efforts to a finite set of activities that are appropriate to their skill set, time commitment and compensation. To say to an advisor who has a financial background, can you please help us build a financial model versus “help us with the investment process” is a big difference. For the latter, you are likely to come back when your frustrations boil over and say, “I can’t believe that it has been two weeks and we don’t have any investment leads.” However, you might very well be able to get the same resource to build a financial model in two weeks. Pick specific tasks appropriate for their place with the company.

“We WILL get through this together.” 

  • Create a Regular Check-in Process. Create a process to take advantage of their limited time, bandwidth and mindshare. This takes the form of a regular meeting at intervals that are commensurate with their time commitment. For example, for constituents you are paying and that are tied to key deliverables, you might have a weekly meeting to stay on top of product development, marketing plans and the like. For non-paid advisors, a bi-weekly meeting that addresses their roles and how they are doing against their areas may suffice.
  • Nurture. Nurture and appreciate their participation. This involves thanking them, but also clarifying that your job is to best align the company’s scare resources with its needs. Communicate that you understand that this is not their day job and that they may not be accurately compensated, but you still need their best effort on behalf of the company. Communicate your appreciation while asking for accountability.

If we don’t allocate our scarce resources, our company suffers in several ways. We fail to move forward with the tasks at hand. We create misaligned expectations that lead to frustration with the resources we have. In an ideal world, people would manage themselves and perform without fail. On Earth, our resources need to be managed and we if we do this well, we’ll quickly find that the only thing that really sucked was our perspective.

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