This semester I’m one of the coaches in the excellent Visualization program at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. As part of that involvement, I attended their recent new faculty orientation. I’ve culled 5 organizational tips from that meeting.
- Have a Warning Sign for Poor Customer Relationships: Each faculty member is asked to contact the Academic Affairs department when any student’s performance falls below a ‘C’. Students are paying for the MCAD experience, and ‘C’ grade is one of the most visible warning signs that something isn’t working. A signal that MCAD needs to try something else with this customer, er student. Does your organization have a warning sign for poor customer relationships? (StoryBlog offers another approach)
- Institute a 3rd Question Person: The VP of Academic Affairs introduced himself as the ‘3rd Question Person’ – i.e. if you ask someone a question and they direct you to a second person, and this second person directs you to a third, contact the VP of Academic Affairs. He wants to know both the question, and that it was left unanswered.
- Know Your Capacity: Though professors can add as many students to their class as they can personally support, there is a limit to how many students the class itself can support. For example; if there are 20 computers in the computer lab – only 20 students can be in the class without negatively impacting the learning experience. For years, O’Hare Airport wasn’t honest about their capacity – believing they could support >120 take-offs / hour.
- Each Organization Needs a Well-Run Off-Stage & an On-Stage:Documentation, research, and internal policies may not be the favorite parts of the job. Though, without them the classtime and student work will not be as successful.
- Vendors are not Emergency Response Teams: Include vendors and partner organizations as early as possible, especially when you don’t need there help immediately. A quick phone call or email months ahead of time saying, “We’re thinking of using you for this.” will be better received than a call saying, “We needed you to do this yesterday.” The early communication will provide a higher quality of service.
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