Online Course

Leadership in Difficult Times

Unit 3:   Team-Building Under Duress

developed and designed by Susan Smith Nash
For more flowcharts, see the Writing Survival Guide











You may use this flow chart to help you get started with your journal.  You may follow it carefully, or you may use it as a starting point -- a point of departure.  The choice is yours.  Please use at least two outside resources.  Cite them using APA.

NOTE:  You may work on this paper  collaboratively, with one or more classmates.  It can be a group project, but be sure to submit your journal individually.  Please list who you worked with in case you decide to write your journal collaboratively.  Be sure to turn in your work individually.

Please keep in mind that flowcharts can be quite helpful in overcoming writer's block -- even more helpful than an outline.   They can help you develop an effective outline, and they facilitate brainstorming, invention, and creative problem-solving processes. 

1--- Identifying the difficulties
        a-- Resources.  What are the resource difficulties?  Are there shortages? List the items, then prioritize them by their impact on the overall mission. 
         b-- Funding.  Identify funding difficulties.  What is the impact on the mission.  What are explanations for the funding difficulties.  Propose solutions.
         c-- Personnel.  Identify problems in personnel (shortage, etc.).  What is causing the personnel difficulties?  Do the difficulties have to do with skills?  Are the new personnel / team members new?  Prioritize the difficulties, and make a "wish list" of a perfect solution in terms of personnel.
         d-- Time.  Describe the time difficulties.  Not enough time?  Why?  What are the impacts of not having enough time?

2-- Mission-critical needs.
        a--Which are the needs that, if not met, will result in harm to people?
        b-- List the top three needs, in order of importance.

3--- External factors.
         What are the major external factors (exogenous influences) that will impact the timely availability of resources, funding, and personnel?

4-- Rapid rate of change.  Quickly evolving scenarios, needs, problems.
           Where is the pace of change the most rapid?

5-- Role reversal.  Thinking from the other side.
           Is there a person in this situation who is placed in terrible difficulties?  Which person would that be?  How does the situation impact him or her, and what are the resulting difficulties on the rest of the team?

6-- Making asymmetry work for you.
              Asymmetry:  where there are huge imbalances (an oversupply of what you don't need, a shortage of things you do need).
               How can you use the imbalances in a positive way, which would result in a resolution of the difficulties?

7-- Forecasting and projecting problem / difficulty scenarios, and rating the probabilities.
               List three different possible scenarios that involve difficulties of shortages of resources, funding, personnel, and / or time.  Please state the likelihood of their occurring.

8-- Forecasting and projecting solution scenarios, rating the probabilities. 
               Propose a brief one or two-sentence solution for each of the three scenarios.  Rate or state the likelihood of that outcome.