Five Questions to Ask Before Forming a Team

A project or challenge comes up and many people, without thinking, immediately form a team to research, solve the problem and implement the solution. Teams can be a very powerful way to solve problems and implement massive improvements. But teams arent the right answer to every situation.

To get the best possible results from the resources available, it is important that a leader answer a question they typically dont ask – Is a team the best way to address this situation?

Unfortunately when they assume the answer to that first question they jump to Who should I put on the team? When they start there, they may have already doomed the organization to less than the perfect solution, before they even get started.

This article poses five questions designed to help you answer this important first question.

Is the goal clear? If the goal isnt crystal clear yet, dont form a team. A team can develop a problem statement and solve a problem, but they cant work successfully (at least not quickly and efficiently) with a goal that isnt clearly articulated. Once the goal is clear (you might want to meet with a couple of people in a one time meeting to get this clarity), you can continue on with the rest of the questions. Until then, dont form a team!

Will the team have the resources they need to succeed? You may be the person who needs to provide those resources, or you may need to negotiate for them. Teams need to know what resources they have in terms of skills, budget, time, support and more. While a lack of resources will challenge people and teams to be creative, there is a limit to this! Teams will falter and struggle without the necessary resources to succeed. Proceed with out them and you risk massive frustration and low productivity.

Does this really require a team? This is perhaps the biggest of the questions. We all value collaboration and teamwork but they dont have to go together. Collaboration can be achieved without a team. Perhaps what you need to do is assign or find a person to run a project, and encourage others with valuable input and experience to collaborate and help as needed. Remember there is a big difference between putting people on a team and asking them to help on an as-needed basis. When you remember that you can foster collaboration without a team you allow yourself to really answer this question successfully.

What is the relative importance? Not all projects or problems are created equal. It is important to consider the relative importance of a situation before dedicating lots of resources to it. Think about your overall plan and your people resources. See where this fits into your big picture before you decide to form a team, versus assigning it to a single person to manage.

Is there time? It takes time to schedule, form, acclimate and help a team get a good start. Is there time for all that, relative to the need for a solution or answer? If not, get someone, get and decision and move on.

If you get yes answers to all of the questions above, congratulations! Form your team and help them succeed.

But if you get one or more no answers – do yourself and those you might put on a team a favor. Think a bit longer before automatically forming a team.

Secured And Unsecured Debt Consolidation Loans

There are thousands of individuals who are financially strapped for cash. Much stress and marital problems revolve around monetary issues. Before taking measures to get oneself out of a bad financial situation, it would be prudent to first ascertain the root of your monetary woes. If this were not accomplished than any action, such as obtaining secured and unsecured debt consolidation loans would only prove to be a temporary fix. Along with taking action to minimize your present financial problems, it is also crucial to address bad spending habits that may have contributed to your monetary difficulties in the first place.

If you have many sources of outstanding debt, such as large personal loans for education, medical bills or holidays, you could have all or a portion of these loans consolidated into one loan. This affords you to make one or a few smaller more affordable monthly payments. These loans take the form of both secured and unsecured debt consolidation loans.

An unsecured debt or loan is not tied to one of your assets, such as your home, boat or car. Interest rates on secured and unsecured debt consolidation loans differ in that interest rates on unsecured loans are usually higher than those on secured loans. This is due to the lender not having the security that an underlying asset provides. If you would be uneasy at the prospect of, putting up your home, your car or your boat to secure a loan to lower your monthly payments, than you may want to look into obtaining an unsecured debt consolidation loan. Secured and unsecured debt consolidation loans also vary in that unsecured debt consolidation loans will only include those loans that are unsecured or not backed by collateral such as personal loans and credit cards.

With regard to secured and unsecured debt consolidation loans, secured loans offer lower interest rates with the convenience of merging both secured and unsecured debt into one monthly payment. This would be advantageous in that you would only have to deal with one instead of multiple creditors. It would also easier for those with not-so-perfect credit to obtain secured debt consolidation loans because the loan would be secured with some type of collateral.

Offering your home as collateral would likely afford you the least expensive option when searching for a consolidation loan to merge your secured and unsecured debt into one loan. However, you should only consider this if you would be willing to risk your home as the lender could take it from you if you were unable to make your monthly payments. Other sources of collateral could be your automobile or boat. Some lenders may accept stocks and bonds or expensive jewellery or electronics.

Before deciding on secured and unsecured debt consolidation loans, it would be prudent to compare lenders so that you could choose the financial institution with the best rates and terms to meet your needs. Reviewing different lenders would also guard against predatory lenders who try to take advantage of those in financial trouble by charging higher than normal interest rates.

Industrial Directory is for Industries, Rather Than Consumers

The distinguishing characteristic of an industrial directory is that it lists products, services and suppliers needed by industries, rather than by final consumers. These would be mainly such intermediate products as automation equipment, CNC machining, transformers, advertising novelties, engineering services, leak detectors and a large variety of others. These intermediate products are used in making consumer products, or major projects such as space and ocean going ships, public utilities, defense requirements and so on.

While a few consumer products or dual use products might be listed, the emphasis in the industrial directories is on industrial products and services needed by other industries.

The range of such products and services is huge and varied, and good industrial directories tend to be substantial repositories.

Sample Categories in an Industrial Directory

The list below, taken from a reputed industrial directory, illustrates the wide range of industrial products and industrial services.

  • Adhesives & Sealants: Adhesives, Pressure Sensitive Tapes, Adhesive Dispensing Equipment,…
  • Automation & Electronics: Automation Equipment, Printed Circuit Boards, Clean rooms,…
  • Chemicals: Desiccants, Corrosion Resistant Coatings, Teflon Coatings,…
  • Custom Manufacturing & Fabricating: Metal Fabrication, CNC Machining, Metal Stampings,…
  • Electrical and Power Generation: Transformers, Batteries, Magnets,…
  • Services: Advertising Novelties, Machinery Rebuilders, Pump Repair Services,…
  • Engineering & Consulting: Engineering Services, Prototypes, Exporters, Importers,…
  • Hardware: Fasteners, Gaskets, Bolts,…
  • Instruments & Controls: Laboratory Equipment & Supplies, Flow Meters, Sensors,…
  • Machinery, Tools & Supplies: Special & Custom Machinery, Bearings, Gears,…
  • Materials Handling: Material Handling Equipment, Labels, Plastic Bags,…
  • Metals & Metal Products: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Wire Forms,…
  • Plant & Facility Equipment: Electric Heaters, Nameplates, Noise Control,…
  • Plastics & Rubber: Injection Molded Plastics, Extruded Plastics, Molded Rubber Goods,…
  • Process Equipment: Heat Exchangers, Pressure Vessels, Mixers,…
  • Pumps, Valves & Accessories: Ball Valves, Plastic Tubing, Pumps,…
  • Other: Signs, Point Of Purchase Displays, Banners,…

(Source: Thomas Register)

Other industrial directories might adopt a different scheme of categorization. With the huge range of products and services, different ways of arranging them might meet the preference of different users using them with different orientations.

Global and Regional Directories

Global industrial directories list industrial products and suppliers from all over the world. Considering that countries have different resources and cost structures, such a register could help industries find the best products suited to their requirements, and also the best bargains. For example, some countries might be rich in certain minerals and metals, and these might give them an advantage to produce certain kinds of industrial supplies. Other countries might have low labor costs enabling them to make the same products made by developed countries at lower costs.

Regional industrial directories seek to promote local industries by listing only the suppliers located in particular regions. The major objectives in these cases is industrial promotion rather than helping buyers find the best bargains.

Conclusion

An industrial directory focuses on products and services needed by industries. The range of such industrial products is huge and varied. We looked at a sample of industrial products and services in this article.

Industrial products are typically intermediate products that help produce consumer products or products such as space ships, ocean-going ships, and such non-consumer final products.

There are some reputed industrial directories that list industrial products, services and suppliers from all over the world, and other directories that focus on industries in a particular region.