Recalibrate in Recession
As the world heads towards recession, there are three things you can do right now to ensure your organization thrives.
News today that a prestigious research firm forecasted a 98% chance of a global recession joins a growing chorus of analysts, from the World Trade Organization to the International Monetary Fund and even the World Bank, reporting on dramatic economic slowdown and shrinkage in the third quarter. (Some, like The Market Sniper's Francis Hunt, expect a global depression.) While it is too early to know the depth and breadth of the downturn, its impacts have been felt across the technology, finance, real estate, and retail sectors, principally because so many of these industries have been reliant upon cheap and easy financing which has now largely evaporated. Layoff Charts show that reductions in force and company bankruptcies are approaching (and exceeding, in the aggregate) highs seen during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and are accelerating.
Amidst the doom and gloom, it's easy to miss the real opportunity for organizations to re-engineer their operations, optimize their go-to-market, and re-design their programs and processes. With a bear market now dominant, technology companies will have to protect revenues with customers in order to "extend the cash runway" (a phrase repeatedly being used in disclosures on cost-cutting measures) and persist beyond their typical one or two bad quarters away from insolvency. This isn't the first time that startups will have to re-think their game plan to survive major challenges, but corporations of all sizes will need to re-visit their operating plans and departmental playbooks in order to seize the opportunity and thrive amidst adversity.
Economic downturns present an essential opportunity to review and rebuild companies around practices that drive performance. Financial planning must be disciplined and anchored to business outcomes. Products and services need to be aligned to unique and differentiated value reflecting client demand in the marketplace. Corporate cultures, which have not settled since the Great Resignation began, should be grounded in transparency, accountability, and authenticity.
Aeternium can help, and here are three ways our services can:
You can't stop to engage in costly planning, especially as you close the calendar year, but you can audit the people, programs, and processes to know what is working and what isn't. Our Assessment Program is delivered over 30, 60, and 90-day cycles to arm leadership teams, boards, functional organizations, and their departments with the insights they need to be successful. We have helped many organizations over the past twenty years with fresh, outside perspectives, grounded in practical experience, and provided them with critical tools to move forward immediately. These might include new ways of thinking about who you hire, how you can better attract and retain your talent, or where you can connect your objectives to key results. Or they may offer a re-think on your go-to-market or a revamped client experience to maximize retaining and expanding customer revenues.
Companies are eager to reduce overhead and are looking to payroll as the most immediate (and sometimes, inevitable) source of cost reduction. Rather than simply eliminating key executive or administrative functions (or just 'consolidating' these onto another overworked role), consider leveraging our Operations offering, and we can join as a fractional or full-time part of your team, at any level, from supportive and mentoring of your stakeholders to executive or functional owners. We will augment your capabilities, not through silver-bullets to challenges or one-size-fits-all approaches to opportunities, but by listening generously and promoting innovation to solve problems collaboratively. We have steered dozens of companies through the rough and turbulent waters of unknown economic conditions towards successful outcomes, and know how to combat the dangerous pitfalls of reactive thinking by instead proactively moving towards predictable, scalable business results.
Sometimes, it's clear what needs to change but very few organizations have the experience or track record to know exactly how to change it. Our Transformation services were born out of our extensive expertise creating centers of excellence grounded in key performance indicators and supporting teams to function with customer centricity in mind. By separating what you do (your assets and capabilities) from your audience and stakeholder demands (your value proposition), we can help your organization and its stakeholders reimagine the business from the lens of the unfulfilled promises of your story through the untapped potential of your people. Typical deliverables can range from new customer journeys or constituent engagement models, to new playbooks for your sales and success teams that are timely, relevant, and valuable.
The Recession may be coming but it's not here yet and before it does arrive in early 2023 you can prepare to weather the storm. Ensuring that your entire organization is focused on buyer needs, value drivers, and desired outcomes can, when coupled with prudent processes and practical support for your people, lead to a successful calibration of the traits that will make your business successful as the markets are reconstructed. The time to act is now.