Navigating Difficult Times

This content is syndicated from On Agile Leadership by Manfred Lange. To view the original post in full, click here.

I chose the word "navigating" deliberately. The current economic climate is very difficult for many people and companies throughout the world. And chances are that you are affected in some shape or form as well.

It appears that no 'rule' that worked in the past applies to the current situation. Is that really true? I think it doesn't really matter. The important bit is that if you carefully choose an approach that lets you quickly respond to whatever is waiting for you around the next corner then you will be better off in all likelihood.

Some people and companies still try to come up with a grand plan for how to go forward. And as long as that plan is really more like a description of the direction and the principles to be used I think that is fine. But what good would it do to you if you would spend planning time right now on what you would be working on in 12 months time if all that matters is what you are going to do next month, three months from now, or six months from now!

Respond and adapt. Do both as quickly as needed (but not faster!). Instead of locking down your plans for the next 12 months use rolling plans (a planning tool, actually), e.g. for the next 3 months or for the next 6 months. Then update these plans on a regular basis, either monthly or triggered by new relevant information that warrants a revisit of your plans. If your plans cover 3 months they are much easier and faster to adapt to new insights than plans at the same level of detail that cover 12 months. Trying to update plans that cover a larger time frame tends to result in a lot of waste.

Navigating these difficult and uncertain times is definitely easier if you choose an approach that allows for much faster response and adaptation to the changing environment. At the same time you will be much better off once your markets start to improve again.


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