Positive Focus is what we need in a time of economic challenge. All indications are that there is tremendous pressure on the global economy. This is true unless you live in the USA of course, where the economic spinsters are able to camouflage the frail situation. The mood of the economic powerhouses in turn ripple down to the local organisations, who then logically start a process of contracting spending to protect their profits and minimise risk. This can often result in the adoption of a negative mindset towards growth, innovation and positive people management. Out come the old sticks and the old habits! It is easy to slip into controlling management, emotionless-engagement and to simply start counting our customers as numbers. What’s needed however is focus, not any focus, but positive focus.
In these tough times we have the opportunity to challenge the status quo of process, norms and what has ‘always been’. If the need (and it is a need) is to move into measures of austerity then lets take a “post-war” or “post-depression” view on our organisations.
How we can have a Positive Focus:
- Eliminate waste. A ruthless focus towards waste within our organisations. The removal of waste in all aspects of resources, people (talent or time) and technology.
- Identify our strengths. This is a perfect time to reflect on what the organisation is good at, what it’s people are good at, and what our customers love about us the most. This is the sweet-spot we should focus on. Cut the rest, mercilessly.
- Invest. The greatest winners during tough economic times are those that invest with the future in mind. Protect your assets (again relating to people, process and technology), or simply put, the things that truly create value for your organisation.
These are simple steps but they are by no means easy; at best the are counter-intuitive; but the best companies never really follow the common actions of others.