Ensure that you are asking the right questions and getting the right answers from the right sources
Rather than moving directly to solutions, make sure you are asking the right questions and getting the right answers from the right sources. The right answers and right sources may not be what and who you think. Demonstrate to all stakeholder groups that you are genuinely curious to hear their perspective of reality without judgment, defensiveness or retribution. Identify those people and groups who are on the fringes of the organization because of their rank, department, or personal attributes. Identify those who have been trying to get your attention with a message they believe is important.
Create communication systems and protocols that allow the free flow of ideas. Otherwise, you may not have access to all the input needed to make sound decisions. Independent, under-informed solutions are typically ineffective. Be sure to communicate promptly.
Ensure that you are collecting the right kind of data
Identify what kind of information is important to you and why. If you only rely on quantitative data, for example, consider whether it is sufficient enough to tell you the ‘why’ of the problem and the ‘how’ of fixing it or just reveals what the problem is.
Implement the right solutions
It’s one thing to have all of the statistics, reports and analyses and it is quite another thing to actually use them to implement practical new programs, policies and decisions. It can paralyze an organization when time and money are invested in collecting data that are never used during the implementation phase or when projects are implemented in disjointed ways.
Innovation and transformation typically do not occur until someone uses data to effectively implement something appropriate and sustainable.
Ensure that you are paying close attention to your campus culture
Even in this time of great urgency we must still first nurture both individual well-being and a conducive campus culture through compassion, respect and patience at its core to create the conditions under which people are most likely to engage, build community, solve problems and achieve goals.