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Traits of Useful Recommendations

Much of the content of this topic came from this book: Consulting and Organization Development - Book Cover

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

The following guidelines will be useful when, for example, sharing results of an evaluation of an organization or specific function with an organization.

Focus on the most important recommendations. You don’t need to address every issue that you found. Pick the most important or critical 5-7 issues. Don’t overwhelm your others with too many recommendations to try understand and approve. If those 5-7 critical issues are successfully addressed early on, then they’ll likely take care of the other issues, as well.

For each issue, have one overall recommendation and then perhaps associate any lower-level recommendations. You might even leave the lower-level recommendations for the discussion later on about how to implement the recommendations.

Be sure that your recommendations will suit the culture and mission of the organization. For example, don’t recommend that all employees be taught coaching, based exclusively on questioning, if their culture is totally averse to questions. Don’t strongly recommend that the organization expand its markets around the country, if the organization has branded itself as a locally-owned business.

Be sure the organization has the resources to do the recommendations. They should already have – or be able to quickly get – sufficient resources to follow the recommendations, for example, sufficient funding, expertise and facilities.

Focus recommendations on what the organization should do, not so much on how to do it. A good way to stick to that difference is to talk about goals, rather than recommendations. Goals are described as results, not as methods to achieve those results.

Focus recommendations on both the business and the people side of the organization. For example, you would not recommend only that “people must get along better with each other” or that “people must feel more satisfaction in their jobs.” Instead, you would also recommend more clarity of the team’s purpose, goals and roles.

Prioritize your recommendations, for example, urgent versus desired or short-term versus long-term.

Learn More in the Library's Blogs Related to Organizational Performance

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to organizations. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Consulting and Organizational Development Blog
Library's Human Resources Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Project Management Blog
Library's Supervision Blog

For the Category of Organizational Development:

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