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Best and Worst Practices in A Chaotic Economy

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC) has developed some best and worst practices in current economic conditions, based on the observations of its global membership and the tens of thousands of clients they serve.

Worst

  • Panicking as leaders, and allowing employees to witness dissension, indecision, and vacillation.
  • Withdrawal and downsizing so severe that the probability of being positioned strongly when the upturn arrives is remote.
  • Sacrificing productivity of remaining workers through rolling and seemingly arbitrary layoffs.
  • Failure to spread sacrifice, and a perception that executives are not sharing the burden.
  • Poor communication of short and longer term plans to the workforce.
  • Failure to manage the public relations and media speculation and reporting.
  • Follow-the-leader mentality instead of carving out a singular approach to the conditions as they affect the organization.
  • Failure to provide incentive for "franchise players" and key talent which can't easily be replaced.
  • Cutbacks in the wrong areas, such as customer responsiveness.
  • Poor use of existing credit and financial reserves.

Best

  • Delivery of new products and new services to existing customers.
  • Creation of the perception of increased value and worth.
  • Strong public and community image.
  • Strategic initiative to plan for inevitable upturn, no matter when it occurs.
  • Daily efforts to build trust, confidence, and interaction with employees.
  • Development of new markets for existing products and services, including global markets, even for smaller businesses.
  • Paying local and smaller suppliers first, to help keep them in business and become their priority customer.
  • Creation of banking relationships, credit lines, and financial reserves.
  • Industry/professional leadership, assuming a visible and assertive role and becoming leaders in discussing conditions and solutions.
  • Constant presence in the customers' eyes through all available media which are relevant.
 
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