There are three key aspects to consider:
Obtain accurate information to drive business insight:
Any business today needs to have confidence in the data that's used to report financial results, set future performance expectations, evaluate risk and understand customer interests. By creating standards, disciplines and governance around data that goes all the way down to the item level, and by using technology effectively to access it in real time, business leaders and managers can trust that the information they use to make decisions is as accurate and insightful as possible.
Navigate the complexity of business enterprise and make the needed structural changes:
Leaders so often turn to quick wins — swapping tap water for bottled water; eliminating non-essential travel and the like — with little regard for their efficacy, lasting impact or unintended consequences. Instead, go below the tip of the iceberg, navigating the complexity inherent in the business, to make needed changes to the business model that can have a lasting impact. Take advantage of technology that can enable the business to run more efficiently. Review the overall people strategy in order to meet future talent and skills requirements. Ensure your procurement process is actually adding value by saving time and costs, rather than creating fragmented purchasing and black holes of spend.
Focus on sustainable performance:
Find and retain the skills you need. Build disciplines and processes that allow you to be in control of the business, and understand how to harness risk to your advantage. Be bold. If not now, when will you make major changes that could transform the way that you operate? In the past there was perhaps too much focus on re-financing rather than re-engineering; now is the time to make considered and sustainable change.
Consider the organisation as a single unit. It’s not about how to make HR or IT run more efficiently but how to make the business, as a whole, more efficient over the longer term. Stay the course, embed the right behaviours in your business and look to a more sustainable and profitable future.