We recently surveyed over 100 senior business leaders from across our global network.
In sharing the analysis and conclusions from this work we hope we can contribute to the wider conversation about where businesses go from here and how their leaders might take them there.
You can find the full survey report. We also asked senior leaders and consultants at Impact to provide their perspective on some of they key trends that emerged from the research.
Roy White, Impact UK Senior Consultant on leading people
Although painful, cutting costs is an easy, obvious and necessary reaction to a downturn in sales. If we assume that growth is not currently an option, then what is the key to successfully cutting costs?
Through our work with organisations in the automobile and consumer electronics industries who have gone through significant challenges in recent years, we have gained key insights about what works. The organisations that bounce back stronger do not take a simplistic percentage cost reduction across the board. Instead, they re-imagine their business for the future, understanding where they create value and ensuring that they retain the capabilities that will support their future business vision. This is much tougher to achieve and communicate than an apparent 'fair' 10% reduction across the board. It also requires time and talent. However, what it does do is demonstrate leadership that is looking over the horizon and preparing for the future.
Something else that we have noticed in leaders of organisations that recover quickly is humility. These leaders understand that they are unlikely to have the solutions themselves. They also understand that expensive consultants will have the same answer for everyone in their sector and can never fully understand their culture and where they create value. Instead, these leaders ask their own people, liberating them to come up with ways in which their work can be done with greater speed and efficiency. Amongst the successful turnarounds that we have witnessed, these are the two approaches that stand out the most.