Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are you maintaining a “Three Legged Stool”?

Buzz - Hey Skippy - seat backs and tray tables up and locked please -

Skippy - say what?

Buzz - Well the travel in today's market is so bumpy and most of us don't have the luxury of having a 'Captain Sully' in the cockpit that it seems prudent to have seating that is firmly grounded.

Skippy - It goes without saying that we have a difficult marketplace at present.

Buzz - Yup, most companies (unfortunately) are in full blown ‘survival mode’; the mode consists mainly of gouging out ‘costs’ so as to live to fight another day.

Skippy - It is important to keep in mind though that doing this without enough introspection is akin to sawing legs off the stool you’re sitting on. You’ll want to maintain at least a ‘three legged stool’ with the three pillars necessary to provide stability over unknown terrain -

Buzz - which are?

Skippy -

A) [quality] sales - to existing and potential customers;
it’s easier to keep a customer than get one;

B) cash flow - you can be making sales and losing money etc.;
it never works out on ‘volume’ and lastly

C) human capital – are the right team members in place?

Buzz - Any suggestions?

Skippy - Rather than focus only on cost cutting, an honest internal assessment should be part of the operations mode at this most important time – does your team have a good handle on:

1. The existing problems that are currently facing your company?
2. The quality of key managers you presently employ?
3. The strengths and weaknesses of your company as seen through the eyes of your customers and employees?
4. The current climate of the company, such as morale and its status?
5. The planning that has occurred up to this point?
6. The attitudes of key managers toward the turn around and growth?
7. The story board material that presently exists(brochures, literature, selling aids, etc.)?

Buzz - Sounds like an assessment of these key factors prior to the coming rebuild is critical to take advantage of better company re-positioning and perhaps re-branding.

Skippy - right; and consider an independent audit. An outside consultant’s report can sometimes be not only revealing but also thought provoking. It may open the eyes of the most astute leadership. You must be prepared for real hidden problems that you might have missed. Moving forward before conducting an independent assessment can be deadly to your rebound and future growth.

1 comment:

  1. Skippy makes some excellent observations. Having done some rather extensive research on today's job market opportunities over the past 30 days, I've discovered that point #2 ("the quality of the key managers you presently employ") is very much being overlooked. In fact, most companies are perceiving that the current economic climate can be "turned around" by hiring mid-level managers who possess to be an answer to all of their problems. What I've heard to be referred to as "the genius with 1000 helpers."
    What the company most often misses is that their ills can be better assessed by reviewing the strategic initiatives that may, or may not, be identified and implementing the tactical execution-via accountability- to deliver measurable (positive) results!
    Instead of focusing on the "genius with 1000 helpers" they might be better served by looking for a sesoned manager with an excellent library of facilitation skills for the training and ongoing development of their subordinates.