This is a really interesting one given the situation many companies are in due to COVID. Having started the year so positively and with exciting financial forecasts in place, so many companies have now seen these shattered by the impact of COVID but what should they do?
Should they focus on creating profits for their shareholders or on strengthening their organisation and its product ' services portfolio in time to reap the rewards when their markets return?
I have been having so many of these conversations with leaders located globally and, if I did a straw poll, I would say most have focused on profits.
Disappointingly those organisations which have focused on profits have reducing headcount as their key priority. The impact of this is now that the remaining workforce seem overworked and very aware of it! In addition, their competitors are now benefiting from some fantastic talent!
On the other side of the debate, I spoke to a sales leader this week who refreshingly declared that, although 20% behind revenue target, his Board remain very calm and are focusing on upskilling, investing in R&D and preparing the business for when its markets return.
So what do you think is the right approach and how has your employer reacted to COVID. Calm and focused on the future or mayhem and cutting every cost possible so it can report as much profit as possible?
The abstract idea of “success” may be the most important idea in business: the fuzzy notion that motivates millions of choices, careers, and dreams. But for all the energy applied in its pursuit, there’s little energy applied in contemplating the destination. Fortune recently published its annual Fortune 500 list, which it bills as “the ultimate business scorecard.” But its ranking is driven by just one metric: revenue. Is that really the ultimate scorecard in business? The pinnacle of success? And if not, what is? Does this time of crisis, reassessment, and renewal compel us to revisit what motivates all this work? Those that disagree with Fortune‘s focus on revenue typically choose one of a few other old tropes: “winning” a category, optimizing efficiency, maximizing profits or shareholder value.