Winners and losers in the "New Normal" economy: The top 10 differences
Standardizing or living at the edge of chaos?
The struggling businesses seem to love installing new, complicated (often computer-based) accounting, manufacturing or supply chain systems because that is what the big companies in the industry have done. They hope this will be the "silver bullet" to solve all their problems. These large complicated systems work well in situations where all the variables are known. However, successful businesses tend to avoid these large complicated systems because they felt they were not in control of all the variables that impacted their business. Complicated systems cannot function in complex environments where many variables are unknown. Successful companies use a wide range of smaller, flexible systems focused on tracking customers and trends rather than tracking employees and financial history.
Is your business complex or complicated?
Keeping your financials secret or sharing with employees?
Many successful businesses have learned that, in the tough times, sharing the news, good and bad, with all employees at all levels works. This empowers employees to act with confidence, as they know they whole story. The success rate with the turnaround increases dramatically with this one step. Successful businesses encourage their workforce to perform less like employees and more like entrepreneurial-minded, strategic partners. They also take time to celebrate successes, both big and small.
How much do you share and celebrate with employees?
Working long hours or take more holidays?
Business owners and managers in struggling businesses seem to work longer hours in the vain hope that putting their head down and doing more of the same is the solution. The successful businesses focus on doing things differently. Successful businesses owners and managers work fewer hours and take more holidays; they have realized that when times get tough it is usually because customers are buying less. They need an answer to why customers are buying less from them. The successful business owners and managers tell us they find their best thinking is done away from the office in situations that are less stressful.
When last did you work fewer hours in the week or take an extra holiday?
Do you have what it takes to thrive, and not just survive, in this "new normal" economy? Keep your business in mind, and see how many of these 10 questions you have addressed lately. It may give you a clue as to how well you are turning these worst of times into the best of times.
Stuart Morley is the founder and master strategist with JUMP, a division of Morley & Associates Inc. Morley has worked with more than 300 mid market clients to facilitate companies transitioning for growth and profitability. He is an author of "Weather the Storm. A Survival Guide For Mid Market Organizations." For more information email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit his Web site at www.brsjump.com or call (705) 646-7722.
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