By Todd Ballowe Published on 05-08-09

Since the onset of the current economic downturn, what has the reaction of your organization been? Has your company been stuck in the trenches, focused on short-term survival and tactics, or have you used the crisis as a wake-up call to become more strategic?

A recent study conducted by the Community of Strategic Planning, an offshoot of the Association of Strategic Planners, found that 82% of organizations are reporting that their company has become more strategic as a result of recession.

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In the same vein, Bain & Co. recently released their study of over 1430 executives from a broad range of industries, reporting similar responses. According to the study, 75% of executives agree that their companies “will use this recession to improve our competitive position.”

What does this mean for your organization?

With the majority of organizations becoming more strategic, if you’re just focusing on survival, then it might not be in your future. Strategy-focused companies are much better prepared to respond to our turbulent economy than those focused only on the long term.

Strategy-focused organizations:

  • Don’t have to create a brand-new plan of action to respond to the recession, they already have one they can alter
  • Know what threats they face with the current crisis, and what opportunities have been exposed that they can capitalize on
  • Have solid bases on which to make tough decisions, instead of having to rely on emotions or whims

If your organization’s response to the current downturn has been to ignore long-term strategies, now is the time to join the 82% of companies who are using the downturn to improve themselves- because statistically, your competitors are probably already among them.

The quicker you can act, the better you can serve your customers

The recession is quickly becoming a fight to retain customers, and competition will only increase as it continues. By making strategic decisions to meet changing customer needs, organizations can secure their survival much better than by simply trying to “work harder and hope for the best.”

Even deciding where to cut costs is better done strategically. Right now, as organizations have to make the tough decisions of laying off workers, cutting benefits or even cutting the services that they offer customers, the companies who have taken the time to base their decisions on careful thoughtful analysis will see much better returns than those who wait until the last minute. Short-term focused organizations making frantic changes risk making unnecessary layoffs or ceasing important services, costing both themselves and their customers.

Survival in our current economic landscape will require quick decision-making and strong leadership- both of which are cultivated through strategic focus. Don’t allow your organization to become focused on mere survival, but instead cultivate your strategy and come out of the downturn stronger, more agile and unified towards reaching your goals! (data originally tipped off from a post on Slacker Manager.)

Also, if you haven’t voted for MSP in the People’s Choice Stevie Awards, votes will be accepted until May 30th, so don’t miss out- Because the American Business Awards knows time is money, your vote could win YOU a $1,000 Amazon.com gift card. If you have the time, vote today.

CheckSTRATEGY CHECK: Structured strategic planning isn’t just something more to do; it’s a better way of doing something already being done.