Be proactive in response to the marketplace

Economy May 19, 2017 01:00

By Special to The Nation 

Amid an economic slowdown and today’s high competition, it is necessary for companies to move faster than norฌmal in reaction to new challenges. 

Management practices require reguฌlar performance reviews, at least once a month. Once unfavourable actual sales numbers are disclosed and shared with the team, responsible people start figurฌing out of the next steps and propose action plans. However, this course of action may be too slow to tackle probฌlems amid fierce market competition. 

It is advisable to be more proactive in dealing with deteriorating business perฌformance, especially when the company is under crisis and the risk of missing tarฌgets is high. Management should meet on how to address the urgently required actions. 

Reactive companies may start with monthly performance reviews and then try to understand the reasons for low achievement. This is like a firefighting approach to performance improvement in contrast to preventive measures. The following are key considerations on embracing a proactive approach.

Always prepare for the worst case. If the management team adopts the notion of the worstcase sceฌnario, the planning process and resource utilisation will be geared towards preventing problems from arising. Additional prioritising of key issues has to be considered so that the overall success rate can be improved.

Double the speed of actions. Under unusual situations, speed is very important. Management should emphasise the necessity of moving faster than normal to get things done. Obstacles that block their strategy’s exeฌcution should be eliminated as quickly as possible. There is no point runฌning the business as if things were normal.

Search for new sources of income. This can be easier said than done but it is inevitable that companies must keep on working on increasing revenue from other available choices. One clue is to use the strength of the company to expand business opporฌtunities, for example using its own brand for newly licensed products.

Eliminate all waste. This strategy should apply to every facet of an organiฌsation. By exploring thoroughly, it is posฌsible to identify areas for improvement from the front line to the back office. One important sign is longoutstanding issues having to be reviewed repeatedly in management meetings. Unless pendฌing issues are dealt with in a timely manฌner, inefficiency will take up too much of the company’s time and resources.

Creative solutions for difficult probฌlems. It is possible that the responsible managers may find it too difficult to come up with an effective solution. After several endeavours, it may be necessary to be more creative in dealing with such difficult problems. Thinking of radical, bold and effective measures can be a good starting point. 

For companies that have been strugฌgling to survive in a highly competitive environment, management needs to be more proactive in dealing with the situaฌtion. Obstacles must be got rid of effecฌtively and new ideas should be welฌcomed. It is better to exceed expectaฌtions than merely to achieve targets – or even miss them. 

Dr Yanyong Thammatucharee is author of Exdysivity: An Introduction to a New Management Concept. He can be reached at yanyong.thammatuchaฌ


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