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We are living in a strange and unpredictable time. Companies have had a significant jolt in the past few weeks and organizations are scrambling to figure out what they should do without really knowing how to proceed.
Here’s my take on what you should do next:
- React to protect the business.
Priorities have entirely changed. You need to get your whole organization – especially the leaders – and have a top-down look at the entire business to find cost-cutting opportunities. You need to deprioritize your longer forward-looking projects and adjust to ‘immediate gains’ type of projects.
- Check your technology stack.
Ask yourself if there are systems in your technology stack that can be cut for immediate savings. Look for systems that are ‘nice to have’ but do not bring value in the short term. Since we are in a state of flux, it would be wise to reevaluate this every few weeks.
- Be proactive and figure out how to continue to build the most valuable things for the new reality.
Look at the rest of the organization and figure out what new initiatives are needed for the current state of the world. Look at the projects that you were working on or old ones that might need to go on the back burner for the moment. There is the opportunity for cost-savings in every step you take right now. Most important is to look throughout the organization and not just inside of the department. This is the right time to work as one company across all departments and find all of the costs and minimize them. It’s also a great opportunity for companies to get creative and innovative.
- Look ahead and figure out what you can build that will put you ahead of the competition on the other side of this.
This one is tough, but if you go through the process with the ideas above and have cross-department teams, you’ll wind up with amazing ideas for what the future might look like. Investing right now in new ideas that might let you win after all this is not a bad idea. For example, look at things like BOPIS or curbside delivery for retailers: what was once an outlier in customer service is now a cornerstone of many retailer service offerings. In the current environment, it’s going to become a huge win. Look at all innovations in a new light.
Plan for the next few months, but take it a day at a time.
Like everyone else in the corporate world, we have been looking at every part of our business – adjusting, and looking ahead for what we think will come. We’re reprioritizing some things and putting other projects on the back burner while planning for the next few months.
We understand that the world we’re in now is a moving target, and no one knows where we are going to be in a couple of months. Look forward, but take it one day at a time.