Short Staffing


Robert Whipple is a man of wisdom. This blog post focuses on environments where there isn’t enough time or resources to allow people to do their best work.

Looking at our children with developmental and behavioral challenges, the same situation is apparent. Just think about your child’s classroom, their school, your home. Are each of these areas functioning in crisis mode? What would it take to get this changed?

It is not just about getting more bodies involved. It is about providing those already in the situation with the cognitive tools they need to process, plan, and implement useful interventions and accommodations so that developmentally and behaviorally challenging children can learn and succeed.

I would love to help parents, schools, and community agencies and organizations learn more about these children and how to truly help them. We have to get past the “short staffing” mentality both in physical bodies and in cognitive action. Let’s agree to begin now.

two doctors discussing A student in one of my MBA classes made a remarkable statement the other day. She wrote, “Short staff think only inside the box.” The unusual wording made an impact, and I decided to write on the concept.

Of course, she was not referring to people of lesser stature. She was commenting on the habitual practice of numerous organizations to run so thin on staffing that they compromise the viability of the business.

Knowing the “correct” level of staff is a tricky business for sure. I have done consulting for organizations where the employees are screaming that they are totally overloaded. Later on, working with these same groups, people would grumble about how most people are not pulling their fair share of the load.

In truth, most organizations get only a small fraction of the discretionary effort inherent in the workforce. My own unscientific estimate is that a typical organization…

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