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7 tips for business leaders to survive the economic downturn by Forrester

3 Mins read
Tips for business leaders

The 2023 economic downturn presents an unprecedented challenge as it follows the COVID-19 pandemic. This complex situation is being compounded further by various contributing factors, including inflation and changing worker demographics, resulting in disparate impacts on nations worldwide. Business leaders now can confidently navigate current economic turbulence, as Forrester has released new research offering intelligible guidance for technology decision-makers. 

The current economic situation is unique, making it critical for business leaders to think and act in creative ways. Read on to know valuable tips on how business leaders can best adjust existing products, processes, and customer experiences – all essential elements that allow companies to remain competitive while supporting their long-term strategies. 

How business leaders must plan strategies in 2023  

1. Focus on long-term strategy, making smart cuts and smart investments  

In these uncertain times, it is a mistake to rely solely on cuts for companies to stay afloat. Many leaders assume that such an approach leaves them unable to pursue new investments; however, this moment presents executives with the opportunity of leveraging innovative technologies which can enhance customers’ and employees’ experience while improving productivity. Thus, smart business objectives coupled with strategic investment have the potential to not only help firms survive but also thrive. 

2. Talent must be at the center of the long-term strategy

54% of workers in the United States, and 43% of workers in both the United Kingdom and France believe that their organization will make decisions about personnel in a way that is careful and takes humans into account. When considering cuts, CEOs should identify the individual contributions and skills that will be most useful to their company in the future, and invest in a talent intelligence program that can keep track of worker skills and performance capacities.

3. Choose the right customers to serve   

CEOs must recognize the strategic value of carefully analyzing and choosing their customers during this economic downturn. Underperforming markets can lead to unnecessary strain on operations, cause technical debt to fester over time, and ultimately waste valuable resources that could instead be deployed more effectively in higher-yielding opportunities. 

4. Provide customers with the innovations and control they need  

According to Forrester, consumers were becoming increasingly cautious at the beginning of the pandemic; however, their openness to novel experiences remained. If brands provided customers with an element of control and change in these trying times, people responded well – a lesson that can be applied again today as we face adversity head-on. Organizations everywhere need to make sure they understand how customer experience expectations are being met while providing creative solutions involving flexibility, empathy, and adaptability during this difficult period. 

5. Provide consistent, communicative employee experiences to increase productivity  

Employee experience (EX) should not be neglected during the downturn but embraced as an opportunity to lead the organization in new directions. With effective empathy and autonomy combined with well-equipped individuals, managerial behaviors that foster EX can help bring about victorious innovation even amidst difficult circumstances. Consequently, executives must focus on what has been proven successful in engaging people and leading them toward innovations. 

6. Choose to invest in partnerships carefully

With the current economic climate, it is essential to be judicious when selecting which customers, employees, and partners you invest in. While external partnerships can still provide immense value for digital innovation, many firms have over-relied on their services during this pandemic without considering other options. To make sure that customer needs align with employee capability and partner availability; bringing core capabilities internally should be a strategic move to ensure faster transformation as well as an internal energy surge. 

7. Guide the board on the insights about your business 

Before the board meeting, executives must provide the board members with the guidance they need to make informed decisions considering potential layoffs occurring across other industries. With insights-driven capabilities and a bolstered analytics talent pool and toolkit, one can arm their organization’s leaders against reactive “herd behavior,” while also enabling positive action through smart cost-cutting measures.  

Source: Forrester 

Read next: 81% of business leaders will prioritize customer experience in 2023, finds Zendesk research

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