9 thoughts on “What to do in these tough economic times?

  1. In tough economic times, managers have to remember what Jim Collins talked about in “Good to Great.” Great managers always believe that its both people and results that are important. It is not either/or. So often in hard times, managers forget about their people and just focus on their results. Don’t forget about your people, without your people you are nothing.

    What do you have to do with them? You have to communicate, communicate, communicate. They want to know information. How is this economic turmoil impacting us? What does it mean to me personally? How can I help? What can we do to manage costs? How can we be involved? They want to know! They want to participate. Recognize that your people are your biggest asset now. That is what great managers do. That is how we have to manage our companies in this kind of turmoil. Don’t turn your back on your people, because your people are your company.


  3. I am managing massive anxiety like many, over the financial crises, but then something wonderful happened.
    I was helping my son Atticus study for a US History exam and we were going over a list of terms. One of them was: The Panic of 1819.

    He didn’t know what it was, so I flipped to the index. Much to my surprise there it was…right next The Panic of 1837, The Panic of
    1873, The Panic of 1893, The Panic of 1907. I am not making this up. And that’s where his book ends, we know about the other panics – 1919, 1929,1963,1976,1987

    Each time it was the same story. Some big group – farmers, merchants industrialists, blah blah, defaulted on loans, banks foundered, people went to debtors prison (can we send those Wall Street CEO’s?) people generally panicked and picked up their crumbs, went back to work and everything got better and the whole cycle started over again.

    SO FUNNY!!
    So chin up, don’t worry too much. Have faith that your 401k’s will come back. No one is going to starve. This too, shall pass.

  4. What to do? Easy, focus on:
    – The needs of others
    -Creative free or low cost ways to replace old expensive solutions
    -Don’t just push your ideas on employees, truly elicit their ideas (ie. Appreciative Inquiry)
    Enjoy each day and each person

  5. Leaders must focus on the core assets for success ” Human Resources”. A shift in paradigm indicates behavioural changes and how leaders must engage direct reports to motivate them to sustain their competitiveness. No longer can organizations focus on the tangibles alone to be be successful. Motivation; empowerment; work ethics; and dual respect are some of the key variables for visionary leadership.

  6. I couldn’t agree with Ken more. In fact, using any “downtime” to spend with employees can bring a much better ROI than worrying about results. Getting employees involved empowers them to make a difference, and it keeps them informed so they’re not left to make assumptions.

  7. In tough economic times, if you are in business as I am, you need to protect your business and your people as well. Sometimes, you unfortunately cannot do both: you may have to reduce the staff to protect the business, or you cannot protect people if you cannot keep business. What you need to do in that situation is to help those who have to go as much as possible with all your heart, providing financial assistance, outplacement services and spiritual support etc., praying that they can go through the tough time and become stronger in the future. God will not let you suffer beyond what you can bear.

    Tough times come and go–things go up and down, never stays. You can prepare yourself for tough times by becoming wiser (rather than wasting) in good times.

  8. Ken, being a student of yours, I couldn’t agree more. I think success in good or bad times is the following formula: Success = solutions, loyalty, people and communities. I have taken the opportunity to speak on the topic of leadership, customers and employees. In fact, I haven spoken on it as connecting the dots.

    Connecting the dots is about balance and alignment or the organization. Its leadership’s job to adjust the business levers to create the optimum performance in all the critical areas mentioned.

    I connected your research (white papers) to our blog:

    so that we can demonstrate with proven facts why the connection is so important to employees and customers. I hope you and your family is doing well.

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