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Talented Senior Managers Revealed in Crises

In the present dire economic conditions allow companies and organization to test the mettle of their managers. It’s easy to manage in prosperous times: things practically manage themselves and mistakes are buried in an enterprise’s overall profitability.

But as orders fall, unemployment rises, and the pressure for performance, competence and reactivity rise at private companies, managers must steer through severely troubled waters and their performance will be subjected to much more brutal and unimpeachable scrutiny.

What do you do when demand for your product or service is drying up? How do you cut costs without cutting off your legs ? How do you grow when markets are shrinking ?

For top managers and senior directors and executives, getting through turbulent times is never simple. The common behavior in such situations is to retreat and wait until things improve, but this is often not the best decision in the long run. Often, downturns present excellent opportunities for a companies to re-invent themselves, steal talent from adversaries, and otherwise position themselves for long term prosperity.

In this current downtown, which many are now calling a depression, managers are mainly trying to stop the flow of cash from leaving the building, especially by cutting staff and eliminating unessential jobs, but this strategy carries the risk of damaging the essence of the company and impairing the possibility of future recovery.

Getting rid of the brains who are responsible for actually making your products or producing your services competitive in the first place is bad strategy. PR can be as big an enemy to senior management as the collapse of the economy; management will probably have to invest substantial resources in communicating with their troops. Staff need to see resolution and certainty, which also helps to quell rumors. Business psychologists say that it is much better for employees to know they will be losing their jobs than for them to remain in cloud of uncertainty about it for an extended period of time.

Further, the natural reflex of hunkering down in a crisis and retreating in an attempt to conserve cash can be disastrous for a business – throwing away important partnerships or opportunities or ventures. Things like research and development must continued and producers of all kinds need to consider that cut capacity can be difficult to rapidly re-instate. When the upturn occurs, you will have lost key talent, and hiring it back will be very expensive.

A lot of managers had an easy time from 1997-2007. We are now in a period which will bring talented managers to the fore.

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