More and more, our project was beginning to resemble a real life business situation. And how did we plan to handle this crisis? We called an emergency group meeting. Members of our group trekked across campus through the wind and cold to a Community House lounge, and although a lighter would have been nice, and a bottle of sedatives might have calmed our nerves, we sat down together to try and salvage our entire project.
So what did we do at this meeting? First of all, we had to decide on a Rational Process by which we could go about handling this dilemma. What issues did we need to deal with, and in what order did we need to deal with them so that we would arrive at a rational decision? Yes, we needed to secure a venue for our presentation, but both the fundraising and the entertainment committees were running into major problems of their own.
Should we address these issues also? Our answer was NO, instead we decided to funnel all of our energy to the venue problem. After all, fundraising and entertainment would be of no consequence if we did not have anywhere to put on the presentation.
The second thing that we did was develop alternative courses of action. What were the best outcomes that we could reasonably hope for? What were the minimum outcomes that we wanted to achieve? And how could we go about achieving these outcomes? Obviously, we felt obligated to at least put on a presentation of some sort; however, if the public schools were on strike, we decided that we would look to private schools, parochial schools, or perhaps a local YMCA. If worse came to worse, we could always put on an evening presentation preceded by a heavy dose of marketing.
The next thing that we needed to do was Identify both the obstacles and the adverse consequences of each course of action.
What would stand in the way of each option? What would the positive and negative sides be of each alternative? The first thing we did was look back at our vision statement. It says that We envision a community of young adults that makes informed lifestyle choices in todays high risk world. This clearly showed us that our goal was to reach out to a high- risk audience. If we were to put on a presentation for a group of upper middle class white kids at a private school, many of us felt that we would be failing to reach our targeted high-risk audience. If we were to put on a presentation at a YMCA or at night, attendance would likely be low. However, if we did not seriously pursue these options with the threat of a prolonged strike looming above our heads, we were running the risk of not putting on a presentation at all.
After weighing our options, it was at last time for us to DECIDE. With our projected presentation date less then 3 weeks away, and with the terms and length of the strike still pending, we decided to put off the private school/YMCA option for at a maximum of 2 or 3 more days in order to see if the strike would last