Organisations will face difficult decisions about their workforce in coming months due to the economic slowdown. Like it or not, the slowdown is coming, although we don’t know how long it will last. The most optimistic outlook and forecast for many business leaders, to whom we have spoken, is a significant reduction in their business for at least half of 2020.
Consequently, many companies are planning to streamline their operations and will eventually reorganise yet again. No surprise there. After all, reorganisation has become an essential and expected part of doing business, as leaders continually focus on ensuring the survival of their businesses in the face of unanticipated shocks and movements in the marketplace. This focus is exactly what they need to transform their organisations into resilient and sustainable entities in the long run. Any management team should consider this focus as their primary objective, superseding all others, with the result that much less time will be spent on other future management challenges.
The Long-Term Solution
With regards to the coming slowdown, rather than pushing the same emergency button — that is, reducing operational costs, lowering headcount, ditching product or service lines, and so on — leaders have an opportunity to do something different. That new strategy is to establish the foundation for a more resilient and sustainable organisation, not only to address potential future shocks but also to ensure that the business thrives when the competition fails to stay above water.
Although the prerequisite for that foundation is very simple, it requires vision and strategic leadership foresight. It’s all about people. Management teams must ensure that they hire, develop, and retain “only” the right people to grow the business, now and down the road. To achieve this goal, leadership should consider these questions in preparation for the “must-do” transformation into a sustainable organisation:
- How do we know if we are hiring, developing, and retaining “only” the right people for our business? Honestly, many organisations don’t have a clue. But you are not alone. There are ways and tools to fix that problem — if you are willing to take a long-term view…