How to navigate your business during turbulent times
Maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding assets and overall brand equity is an on-going challenge for business leaders. In turbulent times, that challenge is magnified.
In order to adjust to sudden disruptive scenarios, leaders need contingency strategies they can immediately activate. Having plans in place to quickly adapt to changing operational circumstances gives you a more secure advantage.
Every organisation should have business resilience plans for the ‘what if’s’. They need to be able to bounce back when things don’t go as planned. In today’s world, predicting the future is more difficult than ever. Turbulence can morph into a critical situation with cascading effects.
There are, of course, many aspects to business contingency planning for disruptive times. We will focus on just one key business resilience essential as it has wide-reaching effects for the whole organisation – your people.
FOCUS ON: Your People
What makes a good leader?
Leadership comes in many forms as leaders have different styles and personalities. However, what effective leaders have in common are the following abilities: they communicate exceptionally well; build trust in their people; earn respect; set clear direction; and lead by example.
In turbulent times, there are two additional traits leaders must have: resiliency and courage.
In times of uncertainty, crisis and change, exceptional leaders will have the composure and conviction to guide teams through decisive steps for the best outcomes possible.
Identifying strong ‘go-to’ leaders in your company should be part of your contingency planning. Equally important is profiling employees with the necessary traits to become strong leaders. Your goal should be to develop these individuals now to maximise their potential for your current and unexpected requirements.
How to drive a high performing team
Strong leadership to navigate a company during turbulent times is only part of the picture. You can’t operate alone. Teams that deliver high performance are crucial for the day-to-day delivery of objectives, and critical during times of uncertainty.
During disruptive times, a high-performing team is one of the most important and influential attributes for organisational success.
Not every individual has what it takes to work effectively in a team. There can be clashes due to style differences as well as a personal lack of engagement and commitment to the team’s performance.
What characterises a high-performing team? Authors ‘Katenbach and Smith’ describe it as having: “A strong sense of personal commitment, deeper sense of purpose, more ambitious performance goals, more complete approaches, fuller mutual accountability, and interchangeable as well as complimentary skills.”
It takes more than a ‘gut’ feel to truly understand who can lead effectively in times of calm as well as confusion. The same is true when you hire employees and put together teams.
Rather than a gut feel, what is needed is less instinct and more insight. One way to have more insight is with scientifically grounded behavioural assessments. They are vital to help you identify specific personality traits and behavioural tendencies that would make an individual more inclined to succeed in a role.
Drake P3® is a precise tool that can help you do just that. It will enable you to zoom in for a clearer picture of your leaders, those who may have leadership potential, and even the challenges of your existing teams working together productively.
Adopting a Flexible Staffing Strategy
Dealing with unexpected operational stresses is all about being prepared. Having the right leaders in place, identifying those with leadership potential and forming exceptional teams is crucial.
Also important is adopting a flexible recruitment strategy. Economies cycle up and down and workloads fluctuate. Adopting a flexible recruitment strategy prevents over-staffing during slower times and under-staffing during busy times. And the right balance is extremely important in times of crisis and turbulence.
No matter the cycle or the circumstance, every organisation needs to have the right people in the right place at the right time.
Balancing your permanent staff with a qualified and screened flexible workforce is always a smart financial business strategy. Temporary workers enable you to avoid the long-term responsibilities and overhead associated with permanent staff.