Guest post: Christopher Lochhead, the former chief marketing officer at Scient and Mercury, offers his advice on how companies can do more than pray for survival in a prolonged economic downturn.
It's easy to be great when things are going great. The real test of leadership is who are you when things are tough. Leaders take market share in bad times, and losers lose share, money, and market cap.
We seem to be heading into a multi-quarter (or maybe longer) downturn. Planning for a long downturn is the right approach, even if you think this is just a blip.
Strategy 1: Don't cut the budget
The first thing scared executives do in bad times is cut spending. It's easy. But often completely wrong. J. Paul Getty said, "Buy when everyone is selling. And hold until everyone is buying."
Downturns are time to invest in:
Strategy 2: If you have to cut, DO IT FAST. DO IT ONCE.
Strategy 3: Put your best people on your biggest project.
Legendary people produce legendary results. During a downturn take your best executive, regardless of their background, and put them in charge of the big:
Downturns are great opportunities for change and growth. Good luck and knock 'em alive.
After almost twenty years in business and being the marketing chief at three public companies, Christopher Lochhead retired at 38. Now, he serves on a few boards and is a part-time strategy advisor. Every year he gives a handful of speeches, and from time to time writes something. Check out www.lochhead.com.