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STRATEGYBUSINESS

How to succeed in uncertain times

How to succeed in uncertain times

strategy-business.com

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Uncertainty is always there. The degree of uncertainty can rise and fall.

Leaders, being human, also have difficulty coping with uncertainty. When they receive confusing information, they tend to react in predictable ways that are not always constructive. They also use judgment shortcuts t...

During periods of heightened uncertainty, leaders reflexively reduce investment, stop hiring, slash marketing, refrain from entering new markets, or stop making decisions.

Although understandable, acting in a pro-cyclical manner can be counterproductive. It can leave companies poorly posit...

Organizations should be inclined toward action. As a baseline, companies must strive to be fit for growth. This can be done by aligning costs with priorities and strategy, investing in varied capabilities, and using traditional and digital levers to execute.

They must regu...

When the environment is highly uncertain, a strategy has to be:

  • Defined: Using big data and machine learning allows for defining a set of plausible futures.
  • Tested: Pilots can test selected moves in the real world and identify the reinforci...

In times of uncertainty, if companies reduce headcount and leave positions open, they can miss out on filling critical needs and areas.

  • Companies must invest in efforts to ensure their workforce has the new skills required by the digital world.
  • Companies should ...

Companies can act on the options they create only if their operations can support the execution.
It means understanding which operations and capabilities give a competitive advantage, and ensure the company owns them and invests in them.

Uncertainty tends to paralyze deal-making or push companies into transactions that are defensive and reactive.
In evaluating deal opportunities, companies that are reasonably agile to execute transactions when they have to will find that deals present occasions to boost growth...

Many organizations have found that volatile shifts in tax and regulation impact their industry, their specific markets and the general environment for business.

  • In order to be resilient, companies must get ahead and work with industry peers and the government to improve outcomes....

Finance has its own heuristics in a time of uncertainty.

  • Commercial organizations are often slow to react to changes to their forecasts.
  • Working capital often increases, consuming cash and restricting liquidity.
  • Companies often become motivated...

If organizations can stop being so defensive and assume a more aggressive stance, they have a better chance of maintaining their balance and shaping their future.
It will take a lot of courage, but companies should consciously lean into changes and counterintuitive activities when it is least ...

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