If it feels like you wake up each day with more to do and fewer resources, you’re not alone.
Now, more than ever, leaders are being pushed to new levels of resourcefulness. For many companies, sales are dropping, layoffs are rampant, and resources are dwindling.
How does a leader secure and deploy resources effectively and efficiently?
“It’s not the lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.” – Tony Robbins
Here are 5 ways to improve resourcefulness when it feels like the odds are stacked against you.
1. Make a detailed plan
Work with teams to layout upcoming work in a detailed plan. Determine what is mission-critical and what’s trivial, the timeline, who controls necessary resources, and what resources may be missing. You may realize that objectives can still be met with fewer resources or by modifying current processes.
Break tasks into smaller sub-tasks to uncover ways to get things done more efficiently. A flowchart is your best friend here!
Check-in with each employee, department, and division to make sure no one is overworked compared to the rest. If one person or area is overly burdened, help them prioritize tasks and delegate work.
This includes you! A leader cannot do everything alone. Give up as much as possible, but be clear on the outcome required and how it should be achieved. Additionally, provide employees with context to the bigger picture and the importance of the task to the overall strategic picture.
3. Reskill and upskill workers
Last year 70% of workers said they haven’t mastered the skills they need for their jobs today (Gartner). Now that most businesses have been forced to slow down, it may be a good time to:
- cross-train staff members to assist other teams that are now shorthanded
- create a library of learning content to ease the transition for team members who need new skills
Take advantage of e-Learning platforms to make this process smoother. Most employees will welcome the opportunity to develop new skills or sharpen their existing knowledge.
Your people all have unique knowledge, experience, ideas, and skills available for you to tap into. Providing educational opportunities also helps to keep your people engaged if they’re working remotely.
4. Bargain for resources
It’s time to get creative to get what you need. Brainstorm ways you can negotiate, trade, borrow, and influence to obtain resources. Start by determining the value of what you need and what you can offer in return.
This is a great time to analyze your network and find people who may be willing to help. Don’t just reach out to companies that seem to be in a stable position. People and organizations that are also struggling with resources could be eager to make some kind of trade for what they need. Think of ways to make your offer a win-win for everyone.
5. Have the courage to take action
If you delay taking action until you find all the resources you need, it might never happen. Make the most of what you have and deliver the best possible result. Keep stakeholders in the loop and start small where you need to, but just start. Remember that even the best-laid plans can go astray, and don’t concentrate on failure. Anticipate changes and prepare how you may respond. Focus on what can be done, not on things you can’t change.
To sum it up, remember that solutions don’t always stare you right in the face. It may be the unlikely option that turns out to work the best. Continue to renegotiate, refocus, and adapt to changing circumstances, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your strategic initiatives.