and What Leadership can do about it…
We are in the midst of an unprecedented business environment. None of us have found ourselves in such a fluid business climate as this. The situation changes by the day or even hour. So what does leadership do in these challenging times?
A few practical suggestions to mitigate your risk:
1) Maintain a focus on your core values and your mission
2) Create a safe environment for your people and their families
3) Focus on that which you can control (not the economy, not the business climate nor consumer emotions) Focus instead on the things you can control: Your response to the environment and your engagement of human capital.You must assess the risk and determine what you tactically can do to mitigate that risk.
4) Assess the situation. While no one knows when the crisis will end, it is certain that the situation will worsen before it gets better. We also do not know the floor nor do we know the timeline, but indications are that this will last through the summer. Our purview has quickly changed from a 90-day to 365-day perspective to a 30/60/90 day perspective.For many firms, mere survival may become their primary objective
5) Re- forecast your 30/60/90 pipeline: Revisit your current forecasting as possible. Adjust resources accordingly (people, production schedules, inventory, and supply chains)
6) Embrace the minds of your leadership team to focus on those critical elements that will help to navigate the next 3-6 months, ensuring that your decisions do not contradict your core values and mission. If you are following a prescribed weekly review of your strategic initiatives, your leadership team is most likely already focusing on tactical actions.
7) Recommit to regular meetings with your leadership team: collaborate to identify your SWOT and do a hard pivot of your resources to solve your largest challenges and issues in priority order. Refrain from knee jerk, emotional actions that may indeed help you tread water short term but may mortgage your company’s future.
8) Identify the greatest issues with which you are confronted. Brainstorm at first to get a comprehensive list. Now go back and discuss to prioritize your top 3 priorities. Begin with Identifying root cause and brainstorm potential solutions for the top issues. Insure you KILL the issue by developing accountability.
9) create SMART Goals with clear accountability, timelines and action items that solve your top 3 issues. Assign specific and measurable “to-do”s to your leaders with a 5 work-day timeline. It is important that your actions and timelines are understood and agreed to by all. Get personal buy-in on each accountability as the “to do’s” are established.
10) review status of each assigned “to do” at your next weekly, It must be clearly understood by the entire team that missed dates and timelines are not acceptable
11) Communicate transparently to your leaders as well as the rank and file. Authentic leadership is critical. An abject lesson in failure is our government’s own response to the COVID 19 pandemic
12) go back to #6 ~ and Rinse and Repeat. Focus on your greatest constraints
This process is more one of triage and leaning of the organization in response to COVID 19. If you lived through the 2008 business climate, you relate to what I am expressing. We can learn much from 2008.
Finally, we are all in need of optimistic communique with the clear understanding of the brutal reality we face (the Stockdale paradox by Jim Collins Good to Great)
a weekly scorecard of essential metrics
a running list of issues which you add to and revisit weekly
a powerful weekly agenda (no more than 90 minutes)
a succinct, proactive, frequent and candid communication to all employees
a people plan to insure you retain your top talent
Develop an ERM framework (Enterprise risk Management)
Risk Mitigation, What we can do for you
Through our consulting, auditing and training efforts, our operations risk management experts help clients navigate:
- ERM framework development
- Risk identification assessments
- Risk prioritization strategies
- Risk appetite establishment
- Risk responses development/implementation, and
- Risk monitoring and reporting structure