Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thriving in Recession Part II - The Forgotten Gold in Every Company

Within every company there is a source of competitiveness, of performance, of profits waiting to be tapped.

It is entirely within the control of management; it costs virtually nothing to change; and, if improved by just 25%, it generates a 40%+ improvement in financial returns*. Something no retrenchment, no reengineering, no tactic, no strategy, can provide. Finding it, mining it, is the first and most effective response to recession.

At some level, everyone knows it exists. It is acknowledged that it fundamentally generates all corporate performance and competitiveness. Yet few companies can clearly define it, manage it, or change it. It remains in the realm of guesswork and "the leadership thing."

But it can be defined, it can be managed, and it certainly can be changed. It is called the Operating Dynamic© of the company. Uncovering it, making it responsive to management is easy.

Since 1980 we have been measuring and helping companies trigger changes in this hidden profit center. One of the tools we use is at The Corporate 360°. It is quick, it is non intrusive, it is economical.

It has some fifteen major components. One component is Acknowledgement of Work.

For additional information, please contact us at:
847-599-9960 or

For some tactical and operational guidance from our archives and the last recession, see How To Manage In A Downturn.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thriving in Recession - Part I

The first line of defense in any business downturn lies in the company's Will to Compete. If that is strong, the company thrives. If it is weak, the company falters.

A company's Will to Compete is not just the fighting spirit of the CEO, though that is important, nor the sum of the individual managers' commitments to survive. It is the resultant leadership available to the company after all dissonance and misdirection are accounted for. Some people refer to this as the Spirit of the company. But another, more neutral term might be the Operating Dynamic©.

The Operating Dynamic is in fact the root cause and driver of all corporate performance.

As long as this remains invisible, it negatively impacts performance. But once brought into the open it can be changed, improved, put to work strengthening the company.

The nice thing about the Operating Dynamic is that it's entirely within the control of management, so improving it costs virtually nothing. And a small improvement there has been shown to cause a huge improvement in both competitiveness and the bottom line.

The first step is to measure it.

For information on the Operating Dynamic and its components click here.