How to Succeed and Grow through a Slow Economy

Are your company leaders keeping an eye on the traffic patterns in the economy? Are they doing what most companies do during a down economy? Does your company have a culture of innovation?

It doesn’t matter if your company has 10,000 employees or you are self-employed, the economy affects us all. How we react to it and lead our companies through it will determine our success or failure over time. Here are some things that successful companies do to succeed and grow through a slowed down economy:

1. Don’t be afraid to change the company or it’s core products. I’m not talking about changing the dress code during the summer time or preventing overtime, I’m talking about examples like Scott Paper becoming a consumer products company rather than a paper mill or General Motors becoming a transportation company instead of a vehicle manufacturer. Listen to what your customers are asking of you. Mine your customer service data banks and don’t assume that what has worked for the last hundred years will work for the next ten.

2. Create a culture of innovation and creativity. Leadership needs to be the most innovative and creative at all. It’s time to go back to what you learned in Kindergarten and stop being afraid to fail. Don’t kill the messengers. Reward those who speak up with new ideas even if they are bad. Things will beget similar things and ideas will beget new ideas. This is the essence of brainstorming, but glacial drift of a company’s mentality has a way of leveling off those who are non-conforming. Instead of being a hive of solidarity, consider being a greenhouse for growth.

3. Keep an eye on the future, not just the next payroll. Companies can be pac-managers too, knee-jerk reacting to any wave or fluctuation in the economy as it comes, but a macro view of the economy, realizing that precisely because it is a wave, what goes down, must come up, decisions need to be made about the future, not just the short term. This doesn’t mean staffing for an eventual, but currently non-existent work load, but being more fluid in the utilization of human capital and creating ‘pressure valve’ positions and opportunities for adaptable workers and ways to recognize and insulate top performers.

If your interested in economics, you might also check out my post on Ex Forex about Vibration Economics.