The Tough Economy is Forcing Critical Thinking

Making the right decisions requires both intuition and discipline. Although you can’t boil leadership – that’s of course what we’re really talking about – down to a simple checklist, there is something powerful about focusing on the things that matter most.

So… what to do now? Here are some suggestions on high-level priorities:

Develop a global view of your organization’s mission and principles. Then take steps to ensure that every person understands the “why” behind what they are doing.

Recognize that “best efforts” or trying harder isn’t enough. Instead, look for true innovation opportunities – processes are where the most leverage will be.

Analyze and understand every facet of your role and responsibilities. Then do the same for every position in your customer service and support operations.

Don’t make decisions based on assumptions — insist on having and using accurate and timely data. Use performance measurements, monitoring and coaching as a means of learning and improvement at the process level.

Remember that those who know processes and customers best are those closest to the work – continually seek their ideas and input, and create an atmosphere of trust and open communication.

Don’t sacrifice training – that will come back in the form of more expensive problems later. Training people to do their jobs is an enabler to sustainability and growth.

Communicate openly, candidly, and often the value of customer service and support, and in sharing customer intelligence that helps improve products, processes and services across the board.

This just may be the time to invest in these services – not cut them.