“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regardless of what the economy is doing, as an executive you are still responsible for creating growth. Although it seems counter-intuitive, prosperity in an improving economy is not a foregone conclusion. Metaphorically speaking, your ship can be severely damaged or even sunk by the economic storm it has just endured. Tough economic times are no excuse for a lack of performance, and in fact, they are all the more reason to focus on catalyzing innovation and growth. In this posting I’ll share my thoughts on how to successfully lead your business out of an economic downturn.
Lagging economic data is not the information you should use to make strategic business decisions. Don’t wait until there is a formal acknowledgement of a burgeoning economy to start planning how you’ll navigate out of tough times. Rather, use the many present forecasting signs of an improving economy (better job growth, rising dollar, more availability of capital and credit, growing retail sales, greater consumer confidence, correcting stock market, mundane inflationary trends, etc.) to adjust your strategy and tactics. This is easier said than done because the long, devastating recession has made maneuvering difficult.
The lack of clever and proactive thinking by your executive team in an economy that is poised to improve can make it much more difficult to survive the large challenges that likely lay ahead. If you are like me you, then you regularly hear statements like: “I’m concerned about the stability of the economy, and want to wait and see how everything shakes out before I make any decisions”, or “I’m cutting back on all expenditures until I see how bad healthcare reform is really going to get.”
The simple truth of the matter is that rewards exist for those astute enough to move forward and strategically leverage their business model to exploit opportunities while their competition pulls back and braces for tough times. The following business principles will help your business thrive regardless of the state of the economy:
Outsource: Be very strategic about bringing on new employees. Only make key hires that produce an immediate and significant impact. It has been proven time and again that the most chaotic and financially inefficient implementations are conducted with new employees.
Keep Growing. Stay aggressive while your competition pulls back, slashes costs, and has their heads in the sand. While it is certainly necessary to reduce frivolous expenses, resist the temptation to cut budgets in the areas of sales, marketing, and business development.
Outsource: There is significant leverage to be had in outsourcing implementations to competent experts. Outsourcing frees your internal resources to focus on activities that allow for continuity of your mission.
Leverage Technology: Use technology to provide increased efficiency. Strategic investments into process improvement will allow you to weed out system inefficiencies. If your company replaces innovation with caution and pervasive cost cutting, you will not only find survival more difficult, but if you’re still around when the economy recovers you will find yourself at an operating disadvantage compared to more savvy competitors who did not make the same mistake.
Outsource: Outsourcing will offer the following benefits: shorter time frame to implementation, more cost effective implementation, access to existing toolsets and solution sets that have a proven track record of success, access to a more diverse base of skill sets and core competencies, access to best in class human capital within the area of domain expertise required, and reduction of investment into infrastructure expenditures.
In a down economy the stakes are higher, the money and resources are tighter, and the tactical decisions made by you and your management team will be the difference between success and failure. If your management team can streamline operations, deliver solid strategic planning, conduct a prudent execution of business initiatives, and retain best in class human capital (both organically & via outsourcing), your business will gain ground while your competition is stagnating and will be properly positioned for accelerated growth during the next economic boom.
To schedule a one to one free initial consultation with one of BHMs leading healthcare consultants please email us at email@example.com or call us at 1-888-831-1171. BHM consultants provide real value and measurable results to healthcare firms, government agencies, and insurers through data driven and strategic management analysis, and assist organizations with Clinical Operations, Financial Management Improvement, Physician Advisor Services and Accreditation.