Tips, Videos, Handouts

Best we could with what we had

In principle, it’s really good to be able to say, “We did the best we could with the time, tools and information that we had.” Notice the past tense. We DID something, even with limited resources. Many groups get stuck and fail to achieve anything because they don’t have enough time, tools, or information to make as good or as big a decision as they would like.

Actually, groups never have enough time, tools or information to make perfect decisions. The trick is to do the best you can with what you have rather than be stuck while waiting or wishing for more resources.

By the way, to do “the best we could” does not mean “the most we could.” Often, less is best. Doing our best is usually about quality, not quantity.

Practical Tip: If you start to fall short of a deadline, honor the deadline anyway, perhaps even with a lesser product or service. Pushing off a deadline once or twice for good reason is fine, but repeatedly missing deadlines to achieve perfection often just results in missed deadlines and stalled projects. Honoring deadlines with lesser achievements is at least progress in the right direction and helps us learn along the way.

When others fall short of deadlines or other expectations, give them a break. One’s ability to achieve is always related to one’s blessings and burdens. I once heard someone say, “My mom did the best she could with the tools and information that she had.”

– Craig Freshley

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Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.

Connections

Good Group Tips

In principle, the connections between us allow a group of us to make better decisions than any one of us could on our own. The connections between things have actual value and this is why the total value of things connected is often greater than the sum of the parts. New energy can be created, or unlocked, just by virtue of things being connected.

The concept is called synergy and it is at work behind the scenes wherever new things are created: new ideas, new plants and creatures, new decisions about our future.

It’s good to have stuff like buildings, roads and accessories but it’s the stuff between the stuff that dramatically adds value; our connections with each other.

Practical Tip: Focus on the relationships rather than on the material gains and losses. Buildings, roads and accessories are important but to make good decisions for our future we also need trust, predictable roles and shared values; the stuff of relationships.

Don’t burn bridges. Try not to even damage them. Better yet, maintain and strengthen them. I once heard a transportation commissioner say that any road is only as good as its worst bridge.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.

Available

Good Group Tips

In principle, issues that require decisions often come to us with little or no warning, when we are in the middle of something else. To be available is to be willing and able to instantly change priorities. To be available is to have a little excess capacity, a little down time in the schedule, a little gas in the tank. It is to be well-fed, well-rested, clear thinking, ready for anything.

Groups, managers, parents, and others who are always too busy and unavailable for unanticipated “stuff that comes up” are always on defense, always in crisis, often in emotional pain.

Practical Tip: When you make plans such as a work plan, a job description, a budget, or even just planning your day, leave room available for things you can’t anticipate. Resist the temptation to pack plans too full. Governments grow, in part, because when legislators see what looks like latent capacity — people sitting around — they rush to fill the void with additional responsibilities. Then when “stuff comes up” there is inadequate capacity so new spending is needed to build more capacity. Sometimes sitting around and being available is exactly what we want; think firefighters.

Plan to be available for things unplanned. Don’t hold to your plans no matter what. Be available to the people and things that are truly most important.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.