The Best Business Strategy for Crisis Recovery

The Best Business Strategy for Crisis Recovery

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.~ John Quincy Adams As a leader, what strategy are you using for crisis recovery? Strategy has become top of mind for business leaders. Too be sure, we are faced with incredible hurdles, many of which are outside of our control. As a result, many leaders have taken drastic measures.   On May 8, 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported their findings from two monthly surveys: households (measuring labor force status, including unemployment) and establishment (measuring non-farm employment, including hours and earnings by industry). According to the report, unemployment increased to 14.7% in April, and temporary layoffs increased ten-fold to 18.1 million. Conversely, some industries (including call centers and IT, warehousing and distribution centers, manufacturing and sales, healthcare and finance) are seeing a labor shortage, including management and specialty roles. Facing a serious shortage of employees, leaders struggle to recruit and retain qualified candidates. Whether you’ve had to cut hours, furlough employees, or fill positions, a speedy business recovery requires the right strategy. Smart leaders focus on productivity. They engage their employees in the development and refinement of processes and systems to improve output. Productivity Versus Efficiency Productivity and efficiency are frequently used interchangeably. However, when it comes to business strategy there is a difference. Put simply, productivity is the quantity of work produced. Efficiency, on the other hand, refers to the resources used to produce that work. Our recent generation of business leaders has focused on efficiency to reduce input and maintain output: doing the same with less. But a speedy...
Tough Times, Wise Decisions May 2020, Content for Coaches and Consultants

Tough Times, Wise Decisions May 2020, Content for Coaches and Consultants

In a time when “flattening the curve” requires universal participation, when, how, and who to re-open requires tough decisions. Wise business leadership is needed more than ever before. There’s no shortage of talks, posts, or tweets on our need for wise, capable leaders who pursue the common good; who balance big-picture thinking with next-step management. But predicting outcomes becomes much more complex as systems and people interact in unexpected ways. We need our leaders to do the right things, in the right way, against the right time frame. The real stand outs can navigate intrinsically complex circumstances, make smart decisions, and inspire others to do the same. Two challenges commonly surface in complex circumstances: unintended consequences and difficulties in making sense of a situation. Unfortunately, many leaders tend to overestimate the amount of information they can process: humans have cognitive limits. More than ever, leaders need input from others to grasp complexities and determine how they affect other parts of the system. A leader must be able to keep the big picture in clear view, while attending to all of the small executions that will lead to the right outcomes. They need wisdom. Wise Leadership Defined Socrates believed that wisdom is a virtue, acquired by hard work: experience, error, intuition, detachment and critical thinking; and that the truly wise recognize their own limits of knowledge. Wisdom is also a paradox: based partly on knowledge, shaped by uncertainty; action and inaction; emotion and detachment. Wise leadership reconciles seeming contradictions as part of the process of wisdom, for wisdom is a process. “Wisdom is not just about maximizing one’s own or...