Fearing the obvious, the business environment in which we operate is in a constant state of change, driven by aggressive macroeconomic conditions in a hyper-connected global market, accelerated by technology. There's a lot going on.
Investments and Expenditure Research. Questioning risk assessments. The ongoing restructuring of financial arrangements. The willingness of customers to pursue the cheapest price. The ongoing threat of substitutes in an increasingly competitive market. The evolution of tech-savvy and comfortable temporary workers. The ongoing health and economic impact of a global pandemic.
Whatever the cause, the effects are similar across all industries and sectors.
These are just some of the factors involved in much larger pressure cooker of operational variables, and this environment requires business leaders to abandon historical management practices and embrace a mindset of regular reinvention to take advantage of a dynamic and global business environment.
A leader without a compelling business story to create new opportunities from current threats is simply a delusional manager, often simply adding 10% to last year's profit and loss, defining it as strategy.
Strategy is a demonstration of leadership how . The two are inextricably linked, by thinking ahead a path to a sustainable next.
Your Reason For Being.
The concept of co-creation remains alien to many people who have not considered it in the context of creating a unique value proposition, designing your methodology for adding value, crafting your implementation plan and even building your talent pool to do all that, that the concept of co-creation is the game changer.
Collectively seeing, thinking, planning and acting differently – multiple perspectives generating different thoughts and potentially multiple opportunities. reason of existence.
The reason this often happens is that these people toil in the operational trench, the what and the how, and they have not understood their need to disappear.
Similar to the concept of people over profit, when companies intentionally prioritize over profit and are effective in how they serve a broad cross-section of society, positive results are very likely to be a logical outcome.
What success should look like.
From a transformation perspective, you cannot move forward if you ignore why you are where you are.
Before going through a detailed strategy to create a collaborative helicopter view, plant the seed and start the next level of strategy detection.
You must identify the problem (s) of your organization – the flip side, your deep fear or potential maximum consequences if these problems predominate. Keep it simple and don't analyze this to the point of paralysis.
Acknowledge at a high level the mistakes that have been made. Call them challenges if the concept of error is too raw for you (although it shouldn't be if you want to move forward!). They can simply include a fixed mindset, an irrelevant business plan, outdated technical resources, a cheapest price offer, over-reliance on consultants, poor governance and risk management.
And don't worry! As Oscar Wilde famously stated … experience is just the name we give our mistakes.
Next, we'll explain what success looks like to us, what are your solution (s) – and to be clear, it's not just removing your problems. It is your & # 39; purpose upside & # 39; and therefore the ultimate prize of the organization.
What we are doing here is creating a vision for what success should look like by shifting current thinking from an isolated view of the problem to a much broader impact. , opening up thinking about broader perspectives and ultimately a range of possible solutions.
This first piece of work is strategy sensing . It's not a strategy yet. It's all there for the taking, it just paints a picture, a picture that will change by the time you get to the end of the strategic planning process, if it has been thought authentically and differently.
A Drag Race to The Down
You don't want to start with this specific goal in mind, but in (round numbers) across Australia in FY2019 there were 900 bankruptcies per month, or about 45 per working day.
It is. it is not uncommon for companies to go it alone and undertake their own transformation based on their inside-out view of what success should look like.
Others might call in an expert and take over the implementation themselves because they know best … and forget why they are where they are!
And others can start simple, but not be complete because their similar internal vision informs them that they now have it covered.
Okay, this could be a cynical view and it could be the exception and not the rule, but why not do it once, get it right and do it completely, to the point of reinvention?
This is all about creating a unique and compelling strategy together. The success or not of a phase of an intervention in the first place sends a very clear signal about what success looks like to the people around you. Forget what you think … it's really all about what the customers think that support your sustainability, it's also about what your people think who implement and execute your business model, it's also about the response of your supply chain and what your external finances and risks are partners thinking, for example, in relation to ongoing support.
Successful interventions will strengthen your reputation and your ability to achieve your goal. It will indicate to the world that you are at the forefront of the game, that you are agile and that you are willing and able to optimize a dynamic business environment.
A Tactical Response Plan
We've led companies through economic cycles before; however, it is the frenetic pace of change and the urgency with which we must respond that makes any challenge increasingly important from both a leadership and sustainability perspective.
Leaders and their frontline managers can be overly consumed by the company & # 39; strategy and operational plan of the company. In times of crisis, however, we need a pressure relief valve. And often we need it yesterday!
How do we navigate the implicit inflexibility of an overarching strategy? And how do we maintain discipline in our operating fundamentals while doing this?
While strategy is a larger piece of collaborative work that should take place in the background, it will mobilize a key cohort to create a short-term, interim tactical response plan. maintain the momentum and & # 39; bend and weave & # 39; whatever is thrown at the company. Identify the core business principles critical to your immediate survival.
In general, it is the customers, people and finances that are the three most important business requirements relevant to crisis management. That does not mean that you should forget about other objectives such as technology, systems and environment. Instead, in crisis and transformation mode, these objectives are assigned a key internal person who will delegate specific actions, responsibilities and priorities individually.
- Customer is all about maintaining engagement, optimal delivery performance, and communicating your strategy around what success looks like to your customer.
- People is about the key internal and external stakeholders who know exactly what success looks like to them and in turn drive their own and ultimately business performance. Success comes from unsolicited discretionary efforts.
- Financial is company specific; however, the measures to be taken focus on cash and cost management – critical in supporting risk mitigation strategies. Fixed Milestones . Since these initial goals prescribe short-term, targeted, survival-oriented actions, compressed timeframes are critical to gaining transformation momentum. Time frame of 30 days.
- Document clear objectives, actions, responsibilities, and measures progressing through this cycle.
- Measure performance weekly – it makes no sense to judge actions that have not been accomplished and 10 days late, because then it is hardly tactical, and more than likely, too late.
In the end you have to ask yourself: how will I reliably and continuously feel or feel the operational pulse of the company? What should be done next, and by when?
Keep Crisis Management Simple
These suggested quick wins and critical interventions will optimize your response to crisis management so that if something comes out of the left field, you are armed with …
- Knowledge . Critical Numbers Accurately Judged
- Adaptability . Streamlined Systems and Processes,
- Agility . Able to respond quickly and meaningfully.
- Options . You can access alternative strategies if you need them.
By applying these early interventions, you have a clear strategy designed from the from the outside and which includes the following four main pillars:
- Meaningful Objectives . Turnaround instead of an operational "to-do list."
- AppropriatePeople . Opportunities that make action pay off – you will have the ability to realize your strategy.
- Controllable Performance . A daily, weekly, monthly performance measurement regimen.
- Rigid Timetables. To ensure that results and positive results are achieved.
The message to be repeated is that preparedness and urgency are not only the key to a diversion or intervention, but also become your business as usual.
Maintaining an almost unconscious, up-to-date and realistic view of your key financial metrics (the “effect”) gives you the best opportunity to make informed, urgent and accurate decisions in advance (in relation to the “Causes”).  As a leader, you won't know everything – and that's okay. However, you need to delve into this level of detail as it may be the only way you optimize and maximize while dealing with all the other daily distractions.
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