Are You Ready For The Upturn?
The past year has seen momentous changes to Britain's economy. The global recession has led to a record 5.6% decline in the UK's GDP, our banking industry has largely been bailed out by taxpayers, and the number of people in employment fell by the largest quarterly fall since records began in during the first quarter this summer.
Yet the British economy is still worth over $2 trillion and forecasters believe that it will return to growth in the coming year. Already there are signs that house prices are growing again, and the FTSE 100 index has recovered to over 5,000, up from its low of 3,500.
Any recovery is likely to be slow and unpredictable, but, over the next 12 months or so, a recovery is likely to take hold. And that means new opportunities will be created.
With that in mind, the next three months are the ideal time to make sure that you have established the focus, resource and capability to exploit these opportunities in 2010.
Here are ten questions to help you establish that focus:
- What are your company's key priorities to drive performance in 2010, both in terms of strengthening your core business and in developing new growth in adjacent areas? (I'm thinking of 3-6 priorities, not a wish list of 20 or more!)
- Have you eradicated all unnecessary costs from your business and ensured that your key processes are operating effectively? If not, what can you do about this in the next 90 days?
- Have you raised the bar sufficiently and set performance goals that will drive pace and growth across your business, or are your organisation's future objectives driven from a recession perspective?
- What steps have you taken to develop organisational attitudes of persistence, experimentation and entrepreneurialism that will be required to exploit the upcoming recovery?
- Do you have the right people with the right talent leading your most important initiatives and business activities?
- Are all the members of your team playing to their strengths, with clear and stretching individual objectives?
- Does each team member know what overall success looks like over the coming year?
- What are the most productive ways in which you can personally drive forward your organisation's priorities?
- What lower priority activities can you either stop doing or significantly reduce your involvement, in order to improve your focus on your biggest priorities and your overall effectiveness?
- What can you do to personally spend more time with your customers (internal and/or external), observing how they use your products or services and identifying new needs and opportunities?
The bottom line
The economic recovery, however stuttering, is starting to happen. Adopting a growth rather than survival mentality is critical to your company's ability to exploit the opportunities that will be created by the upturn.