Rear view series #5: Tough times need clever solutions
Written in 2008:
Every economy and therefore every business will go through ups and downs over time. As economic constraints become tighter, it is only the proactive and clever organisations that survive and the really strategic businesses that actually prosper. There is always opportunity within adversity.
The majority of businesses are involved in the knowledge economy, and as such are dependent upon the people who work within them. It follows, that successful organisations are built upon successful teams and individuals. This assumption is based on the premise that premium brands are underpinned by differentiation, continual innovation, unique IP, first class service and quality products.
Long term sustainability is linked to the strength and longevity of the client relationships a business has, which is nurtured by the individuals within the organisation. Clearly, great business needs great people.
Organisations are completely dependent upon the individuals within to:-
1. Identify, target, secure, nurture and retain key client relationships
2. Drive innovation
3. Create differentiation (USP)
4. Research and develop products and services (IP)
5. Deliver quality service
Perhaps even more so in challenging times, it is critical to ensure that an organisation’s key players are retained and motivated so that current market share and profitability is protected. During the toughest times, it is these strategic organisations that take advantage of the reactive competitors predicaments and prosper within adversity.
When the slowing economic conditions place added pressure on sales, and competition increases through price cutting by desperate competitors, it is only the foolhardy that cut costs at the expense of key staff and productivity.
The smartest strategy certainly includes reduced none essential spending, as long as “essential” is correctly defined. Clever, innovative and motivated employees are, as already discussed, essential. So the best solution is to focus on increasing productivity and profitability by keeping key staff empowered, motivated, healthy and happy, while reducing expenses sensibly. These cost cutting measures should ensure that they don’t adversely effect the team’s ability to maintain high performance.
Fundamental to team productivity is a functional and creative work environment. The right workplace solution will support workflow practices and functionality, but more importantly, drive innovation, support collaboration, reinforce brand values and nurture the desired corporate culture.
Critically the right workplace will be fundamental to retaining key players so they don’t walk out, taking IP and relationships to competitors. The best workplace solutions are also leveraged to ensure that clever and culturally aligned individuals are attracted to the organisation in the first place.
In challenging times, clever business solutions are required. The answer is certainly not to stop spending at the expense of key team members. The answer is to sensibly spend while ensuring the workplace environment nurtures and supports productivity through a high performance team. If you would like to know how, email the Incorp team now.
What has changed in 2018?
Once again, not very much has changed in 10 years. The economy is certainly much improved, however the sentiment and strategies remain evergreen. The approach we espoused underpins enduring and high performing organisations. Over the past 10 years we have successfully implemented these strategies with our long term partners and they are now reaping the benefits of foresight. In 10 years the Incorp team has just become more experienced and has, over the last two years, taken our expertise to the rest of the world.