I have commented on some of the consultants’ and journals’ advice in earlier posts, so thought I would share what some senior execs think who I’ve been asking in recent events. Here’s just a few …
I asked for two ratings – Useful [no, a little, very] – and Dangerous [no, a little, very] – and allowed people to respond with both if they felt a suggestion was both potentially useful, but also came with dangers. Following are the most common views – with no initial prompting from me! Note that other views were justified in specific cases.
Useless and dangerous in most cases. Most felt it should only to be done in extreme crisis – like danger of bankruptcy.
Consolidate support functions
Possibly useful and not too dangerous, provided it did not distract management from other important tasks.
Redefine your business model
Useless in most cases and dangerous diversion from managing the business.
Save the core at the expense of the periphery
Very useful, and not too dangerous. With prompting, most felt their firms had over-expanded away from their core in the first place.
Buy up cheap assets – or whole businesses
Very useful and not dangerous if current business was not struggling too much.
Pick up good people who become available
Very useful and not dangerous. Most have found it tough to get the people they needed before the crisis, so see this as a great opportunity.
Keep going with all strategic initiatives
Could be useful but also dangerous … most thought they had way too many ‘strategic’ initiatives that should never have been started. Conflicted with the better advice above to focus on the core.