Flash Cards | Allocative Contribution

Be a Master of Some Trades through awareness of your internal strengths. Meet the world head-on in your strongest discipline and ally with complimentary partners. Novice efforts employed for a larger pie result in dirty hands, a sweaty brow and less admirers.

People and organizations are best suited to do certain things by virtue of their knowledge, experience, expertise and calculated intention to act.  When a person or organization operates outside of its area of expertise, there is the great chance of failure or poor value transfer.  Some organizations or people can produce up to a certain level, but then don’t have additional capacity or capability.  Trying to work above the level of capacity or capability increases the chance of poor value transfer.  In a properly functioning project or effort, it makes sense for parties to contribute only the things which they are best suited to contribute if that organization is being relied upon for its expertise.

Of course, context is important.  Designing for print isn’t the same as designing for the web.  Writing ad copy isn’t the same as writing a technical manual.  Conceptual Scale certainly enters the equation.  Allocative Contribution is simply a matter of participating as you are best able to deliver the maximum value in the context.
How can you grow as a person or an organization if you only do what you are already best at doing?  At the core of each perceived skill and expertise lies an actual ability, talent, or premise (suitability).  With enough experience (data samples) and Simultaneous Observation, you’ll learn what it is that lies underneath the motions which occupy your days.

This is not "each according to his ability."  Abilities are changeable and people are able to rise above their current circumstance.  However, at a given moment at a given organization, there is a certain range of participation or contribution to a project or effort.  That organization possesses the trappings to make it happen or it does not.  Organizations and individuals should actively seek to know who and what they are so that they can put themselves to the best use in the short run, but work towards other intentions in the medium and long run.

Part of working towards ends for which we are suited is an underlying intention to provide value to those for whom we labor.  If we know that it will take us three times as long to accomplish a task (and presumably cost three times as much) as another organization, then an organization would be in bad form to represent to its client or partner that it is best suited for the task, much less an expert at the task. However, the same organization can attempt to improve itself by building up experience at its own expense.

It is a reality that organizations make hopeful promises on the backs of their clients both intentionally and unintentionally.  Some organizations try very hard to represent that they are a panacea and font of opportunity and capability.  There are many organizations who try to do best for their clients, but do owe it to themselves to take a long-hard look at where it pays to develop specialty and where it pays to establish partnerships or business referrals.  Organizations can always hire talent to achieve greater capability, but it takes devoted effort to integrate the knowledge of a newcomer into the fabric and culture of an organization so that the capability can grow and foster.

When an organization has realized its long-term contribution intentions, it can start to make alliances with complimentary organizations to create syndicated projects or plans.  If complimentary organizations can agree on common procedures, practices and how the workload is divided up, they have a multiplicatively enhanced project.

Best Fit is a term for connecting providers and consumers (suppliers and demanders).  Allocative Contribution is a term for describing the internal suitability of a organization for a task or level of production.  This must be reconciled not only with short-run talent, but with also with long-run intent.  What is your organization ... and are you still doing or able to do what you think you are?

Allocative Efficiency is an assessment of utility based on best-use case of resources.  Efficiency isn't so much the issue, because it is hard to assess across all organizational qualifiers or quantifiers.  Contribution is more qualitative than quantitative, and thus more applicable to a wider range of organizations and even individuals.

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