Increasing productivity during an economic downturn

The usual and predictable response in an economic downturn in many organizations is to demand greater productivity from the workforce by making employees work harder.

This can actually have a negative rather than a positive impact by fueling resentment and burnout. A smarter approach is to be open with employees about the business problems you face and invite them to be part of the solution while encouraging them to meet critical needs. Do this correctly and you’ll reduce stress, decrease wasted time, boost trust, build resilience, and improve productivity.

Here are a few examples to consider:

• Challenge the organization to respond by setting intriguing goals and articulate a compelling mission that will get people to rally.

• Intensify internal competition. Increase your team’s collaborative capacity by building relationships and encouraging the exchange of ideas and solutions.

• Ensure that your team is regularly exposed to diverse points of view and experiences.

• Encourage brainstorming and scenario analysis. Don’t abandon training, Invest in your people.

Instead of subscribing to the outdated principle that “tough times call for tough measures”, consider instead that tough times call for smart measures. Smart leaders utilize challenging times as an opportunity to inspire their people to become more spontaneous, productive and innovative.


How is Social Media being perceived by CEOs?

Some thoughts on Social Media as an effective business communications tool according to a survey of 200 chief executives by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and PRWeek.

48% say they lack relevance to the target stakeholder groups
37% voice concern about losing control of their message
28% worry about return on the investment
23% blame a lack of knowledge and capability within the company

While 62% see social media as having an impact on a company’s reputation, only 48% say it can change sales.

I would argue that companies that are not recognizing and fully exploiting the potential of Social Media will eventually be left in the dust of their competition. Any medium that can impact your company’s reputation can also impact your company’s bottom line. Ideas spread as fast as scandal. While you’re thinking that it lacks relevance, your competitors are exploring ways to harvest and act on innovative ideas and emerging trends.

Ask the right questions

Do you love what you do? That question has a lot more relevance today than ever before. People who love what they do are the ones that are doing the best work, being the most productive and making the greatest impact.

Start asking yourself a few questions that get you thinking and moving in the right direction, for example:

Are you adding value (both personally and professionally) that others embrace and talk about?

What adjectives and verbs do people use when they describe who you are, and what you do?

And so on.

Be introspective and proactive in managing your career and your life. It’s an effective personal and professional development strategy and it’s how powerful reputations are built.


The person in the mirror

In this article from the New York Times, the author forces us to consider various reasons why businesses fail. Of course there are many but there’s one that many entrepreneurs often fail to consider. check out: How to avoid becoming a failure statistic.

“But sometimes, the painful reality is that a business falls apart for one reason: You.” […]“In the end, when any company is suffering, there is a question every entrepreneur must ask when he or she looks in the mirror: Am I killing my own business?”