99 Ways to kick start your organisation in a recession
So we are in a recession, perhaps even a double dip recession. It’s like being becalmed on a boat at sea. No wind, no current, no movement of any sort. What do you do? Here are 99 tips...
1. Revisit your vision.
2. Are people energised by your vision?
3. Is your vision overly ambitious given the current circumstances?
4. Review your objectives and timescales. Are they SMART given your current situation?
5. Is everyone top to bottom of the organisation, clear on the objectives – corporate, functional, team and individual?
6. Do individuals own and are they committed to their personal objectives? A
7. Is it time to re-negotiate contracts with your key suppliers?
8. Can any customer contracts be re-negotiated to take some pressure off you?
9. Can any internal employee, manager, trade union agreements be re-negotiated, again if only for the short term?
10. Revisit your strategy in the light of your vision and objectives.
11. Consider all options – organic growth, mergers, selling off parts of the business, joint ventures, franchising, licensing etc.
12. Does your strategy focus on your competitors’
13. Is it time to look at new markets e.g. beyond your home market to specific overseas markets?
14. Can you create new products/services on the back of your existing products/services to sell into new markets?
15. Can you adopt different propositions for different markets to fully leverage your core business?
16. Can you break these down into smaller, less expensive and more adaptable offerings?
17. Can you standardise your product lines more and cut down on over-engineering or over customisation?
18. Can you make your products more easily customisable and reproducible to meet different customer needs?
19. Can you break down your service offering into different levels of service offering and pricing
20. Are your services ‘fit for purpose’ versus overly elaborate?
21. Revisit the key differentiators in your service
Routes to Market
22. Do you have an e-commerce business from which customers can self-serve?
23. Are your key agents, distributors, and resellers up to the job?
24. What other routes to market are open to you?
Research and Development
25. Maybe it’s time to drop that new product idea you have been trying to get to work for ages!
26. Think more about innovation i.e. what you have already got that could be made better.
27. Do you have to do the A to Z of research and development?
28. Perhaps now is the time to outsource and/or offshore your non-core business.
29. Perhaps you need to drop your involvement in business ventures that are not your core business.
30. Better still, why not sell off non-core parts of the business!
31. Look for organisations which can add value to your own.
32. Change adversarial relationships with suppliers and customers into collaborative ones.
33. Revisit internal frictions between departments and teams.
34. Spell out your requirements, afresh.
35. Manage them tightly. Get on their case.
36. Perhaps it’s time for these to go!
37. This is a time to fully engage with all employees.
38. Get managers at all levels to spend more one-to-one time with employees getting to understand them better and to involve them more.
39. Conduct an employee survey.
40. Maybe this is a time for shareholders to put in more money. .
41. Involve shareholders more in the business.
42. Increase your share capital. Bring in some fresh blood at investor level.
43. Do you still need all that space?
44. Do you need to configure the space you have?
45. What about working from home?
Terms and Conditions
46. Review your commercial terms and conditions.
47. Renew your staff terms and conditions. Are they too stringent?
48. What are your competitors doing? Copy best practices.
49. Isn’t it about time you took staff training seriously?
50. What about the CEO and his/her board of directors -when were they last trained, particularly in the area of soft skills and emotional intelligence?
51. If your people are not growing your business is not growing!
Creativity and Innovation
52. Maybe it’s time to make some step changes in the business.
53. Take some risks with new ideas. Reward openly entrepreneurial thinking.
54. Incremental process improvement needs to continue but breakthroughs come with creative thinking.
Culture and Values
55. Perhaps it’s time for these to change!
56. Reinforce the importance of the organisation’
57. If the culture is wrong it’s probably because it starts at the top.
58. Is there a reluctance to embrace change?
59. Get onto the front foot of leading and managing change.
60. Listen to your employees.
61. Systems have a life time. Maybe your internal IT systems are beyond their ‘sell by’ date.
62. Is this a time to automate further? Bite the bullet and do it!
63. Does your Performance Management System really motivate people to give a high performance?
64. How satisfied are your employees in their job?
65. How valued do your staff feel?
66. How long have employees to go on complaining about working conditions?
Coaching and Mentoring
67. Reinforce the importance of your managers’ coaching role.
68. Introduce a ‘buddy’ coaching system to share the coaching load.
69. Introduce a mentoring system particularly for managers.
70. Are your managers working as super-technicians IN the business or are they truly working ON the business, and working on its future success?
71. Are your managers autocratic, too hands on, and de-motivating your employees?
72. Are your managers ducking key issues and failing to confront problem situations?
73. The enemy of change is complacency.
74. Spell out the brutal facts about the challenges facing your organisation to all employees.
75. Create a sense of urgency about the need to change and fast!
76. Perhaps you have some difficult employees with real problems.
77. Long term sickness issues need to be addressed.
78. Confront the corporate cynics, those who spread their negative attitude around and infect others.
79. Perhaps it’s time to change your rewards system to properly recognise high achievers.
80. Recognise the efforts of valued employees in any way that you can.
81. Celebrate successes, no matter how small.
82. Increase the number of social events in which employees can relax in an informal setting.
83. Use social gatherings to build positive internal relationships.
84. Encourage managers to have informal, as well as formal, team gatherings.
85. Increase the quantity and quality of communications
86. Have departments share what they do with other departments so everyone knows more about the organisation.
87. Arrange away days to focus on improving communications around specific issues
88. Use healthy internal competition to recognise employees of the month, teams of the month
89. Offer rewards for teams that come up with the most innovative product/service improvements
90. Have people/teams work in friendly competition to find cost savings, process improvements and business improvement solutions
Best Practice Sharing
91. Invite key suppliers/customers to share best practices they are using.
92. Invite well known external subject matter experts to talk to your managers on current trends/future developments.
93. Encourage best practice sharing between internal departments.
94. Are there too many petty policies and rules clogging up the works?
95. Are there too many people involved in making decisions? Simplify the process.
96. Has the organisation become too inward looking and ‘political’?
97. Are internal structures too complex?
98. Are internal structures now inappropriate?
99. Is there a lack of proper structure and infrastructure?