As the market and economy shifts how does it impact on your organisation? Do your people react and default into survival mode? Or do you have the internal fortitude and resilience within your organisation to respond effectively and turn tough times into your competitive advantage and identify opportunities to leverage these?
It is during our most challenging times that teams need to pull together and create strategies to thrive, not merely survive! Let’s face it… tough times often force us into an involuntary organisation health check and identify what we need to focus on as an organisation to be successful long term. Unfortunately however, many of us do the exact opposite by allowing change and challenges to escalate into crisis. Many years ago I was at a conference and Robert Kiyosaki author of Rich Dad Poor Dad was speaking, he said that the key to being a successful investor is to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. “If everyone is selling you buy and if the herd is buying you sell” – sounds easy doesn’t it! But it’s not easy…. The temptation to get caught up in what everyone else is doing is enormous and we do it on auto pilot. Going against the grain and doing things differently takes courage and confidence.
If your organisation is feeling the sting of a changing market, shift your perception and see it as a chance to shine and consolidate your strengths. Do the opposite to what everyone else is doing! Focus in on your key business pillars and apply some simple success strategies to each of these.
Here are a few ideas to get you started on 5 common business pillars:
- Strategy – challenge your current strategy and ask yourself are we really doing the right things or are we simply doing ‘business as usual’? Test your current strategy and make sure it is right for the current market and your industries. Apply the 80/20 rule and think ‘low effort high reward’
- Structures, Systems and Processes – ensure the business is set up with efficient systems and processes and that large amounts of time are not wasted. Make your systems and processes lean and effective. Focus on one system or process at a time, review it and look for innovative ways to improve and simplify things.
- People – be bold and brave in your communication by being open, honest and realistic about what lies ahead. You should expect the best but be realistic around what could happen. Encourage people to get involved and ensure they know how to shift from identifying problems to owning solutions. Communicate the strategy in an aspirational way by giving everyone ownership of something and empower people at all levels to make a difference and lead the change.
- Clients – the loyalty and support of your clients is critical during challenging times. Deliver great work to them and identify how you can continue to exceed their expectations. Find ways to add value and solve their problems. Your clients are your best marketing team so it is important to work closely with them during challenging times.
- Costs – The area that gets the most attention during challenging times is costs, but it is not always approached in the right way. You should identify which costs can be removed from the business without impacting the business long term. Invest in your most important assets and strategies and remove any costs that don’t match the criteria.
If you are faced with challenging times don’t let fear and the ‘herd mentality’ rule you, face your fears and do the opposite! As Robin Sharma says “Fear only becomes powerful when you give it power”