Years of recessionary headwinds and impasse is putting many businesses in a quandary on how to manage these crises. It is high time businesses stand up to this challenge to transform instead of waiting for disasters to unfold.
Find ways to innovate, optimise and excel by not just delving into the conventional approach of cost-cutting. If business turbulence is purely recession-driven, then traditional cost-cutting measures must be closely scrutinised as certain knee-jerk measures may be counterproductive.
An organisational cost-cutting syndrome comes with its own problems. Instead, it needs to adopt a cost optimisation approach through innovation that is just not powered by technology, but by enforcing a digital mindset across the organisation.
This, in turn, entails ways to do things that improve productivity through diagnostic tools to ascertain what worked and what did not. Why do we wait to be pushed to the brink of disaster to do things differently?
That is why businesses leaders have to be forthright in applying continuous evolution to manage challenges.
If business slowdown is led by forces of disruption, then cost-cutting is not an option. Instead, a plethora of must-do steps must be taken, from product offering and mapping it with market needs to pricing.
In recent months, having read market behaviour, we introduced an “Innovate, Optimise and Excel” (IOE) programme as we could not wait for the market to continue to push us back with lower margins, pressure from clients to still maintain standards, and cost rationalisation. In our case, disruption in the facilities management industry is not the accelerator, but an affirmative factor helping us to increase reach.
The programme engaged employees at all levels to embark on pushing innovation across the business. They were called to seek innovative solutions as well as speak about how the organisation at large could do things differently for a common good.
Change management in this particular case involved all employees across the company, not a select few. They conducted brainstorming sessions and ensured that proposed changes are powered by data analysis.
People could thus understand the desired impact against the backdrop of past data. The exercise was based on cross-team collaboration as it guaranteed believers led this exercise and they worked collectively to achieve the desired change.
When organisations indulge in cost-cutting, it is perceived by most to be impacting excellence, which is not always a sustainable way to boost performance. Innovation and optimisation can negate the risk of any impact on excellence.
Tariq Chauhan is Group CEO at EFS Facilities Services Group.