April 24, 2009

Cut Costs And Be The Best?

It’s heartbreaking to watch as we all worry about the future, panic about what’s next. We wince every time another email blast comes with financial news. Chrysler is filing for bankruptcy protection, GM isn’t far behind. And entire industries are forced to downsize and find ways to cut costs.

Air Canada is on the brink – again. The thought that one of the most prosperous gorgeous places to live on the planet may not have an airline is ridiculous and clearly will not happen.

Get Out The Knife

One of the ‘easiest’ ways to cut costs is to fire people and ask the survivors to do more. In some cases, the threat of further cuts will temporarily and artificially motivate people to work harder but it’s not a long-term solution. I have been on both sides of a “black Tuesday” and you may think one is side is more pleasurable - it's not!

Money is math, math is reality – right?

There is little evidence of companies successfully under spending themselves to a lead position. You would be hard pressed to unearth a story or two on situations where slashing infrastructure lead to triumph. Conversely, there is ample evidence of companies overspending themselves to failure. The balancing act never stops.

Hold On Just A Minute

If you are in a situation right now as you read this post to do something different. What do you have to lose, if you just take some time out of the office and ask yousrelf, in no particular order:

• What can I do?
• What is my company good at?
Where can we improve?
• Do we know what our customers want?
Do we know what our potential customers want?
• Have we examined all potential revenue streams?
• Are our products or services still good?
• Are we fully integrated?
• Are we the leaders in our industry?
• Where can we win?
• Are we nimble?
• Do we listen to each other for actual solutions?
• Are we still relevant?
What steps can we take to become relevant again?

What's The Harm In Trying?

There are many more questions, but there’s a good start. It might be a worthy exercise before you get out the chopping block and get the HR department hammering on severance packages. You may be one of the fortunate ones who can avoid affecting careers and all the while become even more successful.

Just my opinion.

@knealemann

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photo credit: tagish.co.uk

 
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