At times, a shakedown is required to untangle oneself from the shackles of business rut and conventional norms. The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 is that ‘shakedown’ for almost all businesses.
As an organization, we need to safeguard our prime areas of business. Drawing from one of our core values, ‘continuous improvement’, we at V-Mart, realize that no matter what, there is always a scope of even more, and ongoing, improvement.
It is a time for deep introspection – even in those fields where we have already set a quality standard in the market. Cost-cutting is merely one aspect; there are others wherein we must constantly endeavor to improve process efficiency.
We can do this by:
A] Brainstorming by multi-functional teams
I believe in the term ‘synergy’, which means that the interaction of all the elements has a greater impact than the sum of individual elements.
To achieve organizational efficiency, we leverage the combined thoughts of all business domains. This results in a deep probing of our accomplished areas too, in which we have been doing fairly well.
Questioning the long-standing ways of doing business by breaking down the sequence at different levels, and asking each other the “why” / “why not” / “How” / “If” of business functioning can lead to unearthing a few previously unexplored ways of improving process efficiencies.
B] Forget the conventional ways; think afresh
Often we fail to see new opportunities simply because our minds are clogged with set standards of operating and thinking.
At times, I think back to when I had launched V-Mart. I recall the excitement, the uncertainty, and the constant ‘newborn’ thoughts and ideas which used to come to my mind.
When you think with a ‘clean slate’ you might surprise yourself by your innovative streak. This is because your mind would not be cluttered with high sounding principles and typical ‘best practices’. Break down all business assumptions by questioning and probing them one by one – thus delving deeper and deeper to chuck out the root causes which affect your business productivity.
C] Tweak Management KPIs to keep things Objective
We must admit we do not know till when COVID-19 would continue to remain an unwelcomed guest in our society. In this situation we cannot plan even ‘medium term’ as we do not have reliable information as to how markets would behave.
So, we have to constantly align our management teams’ functioning and accountability keeping the evolving immediate and short-term objectives in mind. At the same time, these must be communicated regularly so that their energies and efforts are well utilized.
Admittedly, the COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful situation for people and businesses alike. But keep reminding yourself it also presents us with the opportunity to introspect our core so as to come up with solutions to keep operating, as well as to remain competitive and emerge stronger at a later stage.
Remember the phrase which Benjamin Franklin coined around 300 years ago: “No Pain, No Gain” in relation to exercising – the same applies to the corporate world as well
Stay safe. But remain Strong!