We are in a recession! For months now “that word” has been the big elephant in the room that few people would acknowledge. It is here now and there is all kinds of evidence to prove it. Have you looked at your 401k lately? How is your stock portfolio? Does your bank account have more money or less money in it these days? Are you feeling the pinch? Many people around the world are. Hey, at least gasoline isn’t outrageous anymore.
Like many of you, I have been intrigued by the bailout programs that have been offered to many of America’s largest companies. “The Big Three” stood in front of Congress in mid- November and pleaded for $24 Billion in loans. I guess the “poor house” for the Automakers is coming even sooner than they thought. Just two weeks after Automaker CEO’s botched their first meeting with Congress, they have the courage to ask for 10 billion more and increase the total bailout request figure to 34 Billion in low interest loans.
Even large cities across the U.S. like Phoenix, Atlanta, and Philadelphia are crying poor. Governor Schwarzenegger says the State of California needs more than 11 Billion to keep the State from bankruptcy. We just haven’t seen anything like this since the 1930’s, and frankly it is a little scary that the world economy is in such poor shape.
Many of you working in sales likely have heard from your customers that they are cutting back, spending less, being cautious, and looking for ways to be more profitable. I have asked myself how can my organization help companies cut back, spend less, be cautious, and most importantly be more profitable?
Perhaps there is a way for organizations to be more profitable right now. Could there be a process that helps organizations measure performance that ties directly to the bottom line? A process, in which all leaders give appropriate feedback and coach members of the organization about their performance, that leads to dollars added to their bottom line. Keeping score is nothing new. Those of you who play games or play sports know exactly who the winner is and who the loser is by keeping score. This same scorekeeping principle is easily applied in business as well. Many organizations have embraced the concept of keeping score. By helping each employee understand when they are winning or losing, organizations have the ability to create an environment of accountability, responsibility, and focus. Additionally, it is not enough for leaders and employees alike to know if they are winning, losing, or stagnant. Leaders in organizations must assist all employees to win, to make a contribution to profit, and to improve bottom line results by frequently talking to people about performance. Yes, you read this right. Leaders must engage their employees not just once a year in a performance review, but regularly about winning and losing.
A combination of leadership principles coupled with scorekeeping does provide an internally generated bottom line “bailout” created by the employees and leaders working together for bottom line results.