A Time for Inward Reflection

Kate Moor's picture

Phil asked a question in a recent newsletter why people were not posting recently.   I think we all (at times) need to take time out for inward reflection and for me it has been one of those times.   Interestingly enough this happens on lots of community and blog sites.  

2009 is nearly over, hard to believe but true.    Many of us I sense are feeling a little battered and bruised; it has been a tough year on so many different levels.   We have survived and we will be stronger because of the lessons we have learnt from the experiences we have had.    For most of us we haven’t faced a global downturn before.  Let us hope we never have to face another one. 

In my organization we are in the middle of our end-of-year reviews, hence the reflection.   It never ceases to surprise me the amount of ‘stuff’ we get through, the projects and commitments we deliver on and the inventive and creative ways we find to do things with less; both resources and funding.    

In a general sense what are some of the lessons globally from 2009?   What are some of the belief’s that perhaps we need to challenge and what are some the hurdles we may face in 2010.

 

Lessons:  

  • In times of adversity ‘stars’ emerge from the pack  
  • Talented and committed leaders can lead an organization down the toughest path and still be respected and supported; personal integrity is a key
  • Don’t ‘gild the ‘lily’ - tell people the truth, they would rather know.  They guess anyway
  • Expense reduction is a strategic decision planned and well executed – cost cutting is NOT it is a knee jerk reaction
  • Think longer than a month
  • It is unreasonable to ask those on the lowest ladder to bare the burden of poor management decisions; cut resources, expect them to more with less

 

What are some of the belief’s we should perhaps question:

  • You can’t sell your way out of trouble despite what people say and conversely you can’t ‘slash and burn’ your way out of trouble either.   You may survive in the short term but in the longer term perhaps not – you haven’t dealt with the problem just taken a pill to dull the headache
  • I read recently that to be successful in business making people happy didn’t matter.  If they weren’t happy then they could leave.  This came from a business leader who is very successful as his company. I guess this got me wondering about business in the past.  Did they operate just as effectively without programmes to address employee satisfaction and the like?  Perhaps they did.

 What are some of the hurdles we may have to scale and face 2010?

  • I suspect there will be a big increase in staff turnover as the economy picks up and as a result talent will be lost talent. Where organizations have substantially reduced staff the path to recovery will be longer
  • The rate of recovery will be different across the global and this will be challenging for multi-nationals
  • Business will improve but investment levels for many will still be below what is desired and in some instances required
  • Employee loyalty won’t be as strong and for those of use who do believe that your employees are your most value asset we have some work to do.  Personal loyalty to individuals is one things but it goes beyond that
  • Changing the mindset from short-term bottom-line thinking to longer term thinking strategic thinking will be challenge
  • In thinking about some of things that Peter Ellyard talks about; moving business from problem centred to mission critical whilst in my opinion essential will require effort

 The list could go on but once again taking time to reflect is important.    

 

Experience teaches.   Opening the mind nourishes; creates new thinking.   Visioning the boundaries both challenges and motivates.    Bring on 2010 – I can’t wait…