The economy has turned- or has it? People are spending- or are they? With all of these turbulent thoughts, how do you make sure your company is on an even keel- or improving?
Too many employers have cut beyond the bone- and are expecting the remaining employees to work double time for no change in wages. Employees are scared s……s to leave. The economy seems to be improving. (The problem is that “numbers” don’t change psychology, and “the people” are still disquieted, so they spend in fits and starts). Our role as leaders is to re-adjust to the new normal and grow from here. If we are employers, we are going to have to commit to hire more people or pay the ones we are keeping more- because we need people to be able to buy our products. If we are employees, we are going to have to adjust to the fact that the standards of living are different- and lower. We can’t spend money we don’t have- at the citizen level, at the employee level, at the leadership level, or at the government level. So, what do we do?
First of all, we MUST focus on RESULTS. That does not mean pie in the sky objectives, but real numbers. We need to make sure we generate profits- period. We need to pay for performance- period. That means employees, owners, officers, government, EVERYBODY. We need to get the job done. Forget about the old schedules, pay grades, seniority- and care about results and attitude.
Secondly, we must recognize that we are NOT omnipotent- as a country or as a company. Competition was always an issue- now, it’s the norm- and it will increase from across the street, across the pond, and across the globe. We must consider real choices- do we spend money on furniture- or bonuses? Do we buy more office supplies or trucks? Forget the same categories and deal with the bottom line. A few years ago, we talked (did anyone really listen? J) about sun-setting and zero- based budgeting. Stop talking- and do it – now. You will become the most competitive entity in the marketplace.
Third, examine the assumptions you live by. The sure thing is…. NOT! Toyota is tops in quality? Hyundai makes terrible cars? (I have a bridge for you in Alaska, should you still believe this.) Think about BP’s problem- they have not (today is 17 June 2010) figured out that their new business model needs to be based upon fixing the environmental mess and proving that their slogans and logos need to be based on reality- they are for the brighter day, the new energy, and provide sunlight to their actions (not covered with bull….). You, too, need to question all your assumptions- rebuild your thinking to match reality. And, make sure your reality is where you live.
Fourth, marketing is not what someone else does. You need to market yourself, your company, and your vision.
Finally, DO IT NOW! The economy has shifted- and the opportunities are flowing. Herd yours, now.