Immediately Implementable Recession Strategies
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
As we all look our news feeds filled with negative information including upcoming elections, inflation risks, rate increases and a possible recession, many companies are wondering how they can maintain competitiveness during these challenging times. Firms that used staff reductions as their main strategy during the 2008 financial crises to manage their financial risk proved it to be a short term view. After the mass layoffs, many companies struggled to innovate, damaged their brands with customers and employees and helped prolong the 2008 recession. The pandemic brought about a differing set of challenges that are more differentiated than what we are seeing today and what we will see over the next couple of years.
What we've learned from the last financial disaster is these challenging times is that there are always great opportunities to transform a business and think outside the box for positive changes which wouldn't occur during BAU (business as usual). Here are some key items that each manager should be thinking about to help improve bottom line revenue and enhance company morale.
"When Teams are under pressure, it's a chance to achieve spirit because people will stand together and fight". Friedrich Joussen. Financial Time Oct 17, 2022
Revisit Failed Projects and Innovation Ideas: Many firms have innovation councils or opportunities for individuals to suggest ideas, get funding and try to turn those into revenue generating permanent projects. A previous firm that I worked with had a great innovation council and selection process to fund these ideas. Most projects aren't funded, but many times it is because the use-case(s) may not have worked well for BAU. Now is a great time to dust off and review old failed or unfunded innovation ideas to see if these ideas fit better in todays economy or if the lessons learned can shorten your project lifecycles.
Match staff workload to skillsets: One challenge that I have found in every company and firm is that there are way too many people wearing multiple hats in their positions. The product manager is doing data analysis to help prioritize products that should be featured on websites, the data analyst is sitting in on meetings that are about prioritizing strategic objectives and department managers are so silo'd that they are repeating the same work over and over. Now is a perfect time to streamline and optimize efficiencies in staffing. Many times clients think this means reducing staff when in reality we are empowering staff to do their jobs in the most impactful and efficient way. In these scenarios, the product manager can now fully focus on driving revenue for the upcoming holiday seasons and the data analyst can build reports that help multiple departments thus saving time and increasing revenue.
Discuss department/organizations financial structure: I've found that most firms staff are very dedicated to the company, its goals and objectives but typically the financial structure of the company or department is only discussed at the leadership level. Understandably, not all financial decisions can be discussed but how a department is funded, how the work that people do impacts the bottom line and why challenges in the economy puts BAU at risk is very helpful to understand. As Friedrich Joussen said, teams will fight when they are under pressure but they have to feel like they are part of the fight and not external to it.
Invest and expand technological footprint: Companies that have been holding off on streamlining their technology, investing in new approaches such as cloud computing, robotic process automation(RAP)/intelligent automation and enhanced self service analytic capabilities should really use this period to bring the technological infrastructure up to speed. The ability to leverage real time accurate data to help make decisions is paramount and using a mix of on-premise, inflexible Commercial of the Shelf (COTS) solutions does not allow for the necessary agility to manage these rough periods. This is a perfect time to begin a digital transformation journey.
Focus on outcomes that can be changed: In all of this, it's important to not focus on the past. Yes, mistakes across the organization have occurred but the focus should be on improvements and driving new innovations for enhanced revenue opportunities. Leaders should bring their teams together, build internal resiliency and focus on the future.
dibdobAI has worked with clients around the world on these very distinct opportunities to enhance your company during times of challenge. We believe these 5 items are things that can be implemented today in your organization and can drive immediate impact.
We'd love to hear feedback or chat more! Come back to our weekly Monday's blogs!