There are companies that are cash-rich and are stronger than ever – they are ready to grow. It makes you wonder why they are more competitively positioned and what they did differently from other companies who still languish in the economic woes.
In the last year, it was not unusual to hear companies talk about how they pulled back investing in their people, processes, products and systems. Some of that spending probably needed to be reassessed; however, making wholesale cuts will leave your organization ill-equipped to compete against the companies that continue to develop their key business drivers.
My hunch is that companies who will excel from the economic slump are approaching their challenges in a creative, yet pragmatic way.
They may or may not have used the HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument) to fine tune their methodology; however they probably used a whole brain approach – whether they knew it or not.
Let’s take a moment to walk around the HBDI model to see what you might have missed over the last few years.
The “A” quadrant represents logical, analytical and problem solving preferences. Often the health of the organization is represented with an eye on your financial strength. It makes good business sense to evaluate where our spending is being done and how to cut out the excess.
Conversely, challenge this group to discover upside or areas of opportunities which may be sources of generating cash or building intellectual capital.
The “B” quadrant is often referred to as the planner, organizer, implementer and problem solver. When things are out of control, these talents infuse discipline, process improvement and standardization methodologies to cut costs.
As you become leaner, it becomes easier to determine where your investments were worthwhile and where they were abused.
The “C” quadrant is about relationships – with your employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and environment. Ignoring them will hurt you when the economy rebounds because they will have more choices where to put their money and trust.
The departure of key talent or a major customer can happen without notice and it may take years to recover from the loss.
The “D” quadrant is your future. Are you making decisions and investments that support the strategic plan? Do you understand your markets? Are you being a creative problem solver or are you stuck in the way it has always been done? Have you tapped into your employees for their ideas on how to solve the problem?
Let’s put this model into a situational perspective – here is a quick list of issues; one or more of them might be at the top of your list:
- Creating a sense of urgency
- Managing staff during stressful times
- Re-positioning your products or services to capture the upturn
- Building and leveraging internal and external relationships
- Selling in a constrained or down turn market
- Aligning actions to strategy
- Eliminating the blame game and taking accountability
A whole brain approach to problem solving lets everyone’s voice be heard. It might mean pulling your leadership team into a half day or full day retreat or session to wrestle with your top issue – which may be different from my short list.
Let’s have a quick huddle when you are ready to get ahead of the curve ball through a facilitated process or are looking for an expert on a special project.