Take the handbrake off !
In times of uncertainty, your first reaction will often be to take up a defensive position: trim the sails and wait for calmer waters ahead. But this reflex, although based on common sense, runs the risk of hastening the end.
In their article “How to succeed in uncertain times,” Jackson-Moore, Swanston, and Kande argue that an uncertain climate that won’t go away is, paradoxically, an opportunity to build a stronger and more resilient organization — provided you can resist the legitimate temptation to play the waiting game. Here are the authors’ tips:
Move forward on several different front at the same time, testing various options without waiting to have a clearer view of things. Monitor the results closely so you can adjust quickly.
Look after your talented people now more than ever. Not sure about whether to hire? Start by concentrating on in-house talent: identify the right individuals, find the right motivators to encourage them to stay, and continue to invest in their development so you can maintain a pool of relevant skills.
Review your investments. Don’t hesitate to outsource and sell what isn’t part of your core business, which will allow you to free up capital to invest in technologies that will make your operations more agile.
Communicate more than ever: are you tempted to reduce communication because you are unsure of what to say? On the contrary, communicate and strengthen the ties with your workers, investors, and partners, who could otherwise be tempted to look elsewhere. They may serve as important sources of support.
When in doubt, force yourself. The authors recommend giving priority to taking action: doing nothing is much more likely to damage your organization than an over-hasty decision.
To go further:
“How to Succeed in Uncertain Times” by Will Jackson-Moore, Heather Swanston, and Mohamed Kande (Strategy + Business, 29 January 2020).
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