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Toolkit for leading through a recession

by Phil Dourado December 8, 2008

Forum Corporation have created a toolkit for leading through a downturn. It's very well thought through and put together. There's a link at the end of this piece.


(NB Though they are 'steps' you don't take them one at a time: you move them all forward at the same time)


1. Move quickly to reduce costs

- Control spending by focussing on critical priorities

- Don't chase unprofitable sales

2. Invest in opportunities

- Be alert to bargains in both assets and talent

- Invest in customer-perceived quality

3. Refrain from across the board cutbacks

- Preserve areas that customers value most

- Don't damage your ability to sell and deliver

4. Consider alternatives to layoffs

- Look for alternatives to layoffs first

- Communicate with employees about rationale and impact


5. Create a positive vision and attitude

- Articulate a vision and lead with discipline and focus

- Mobilize employees to respond to customers' interests and values

6. Communicate authentically

- Acknowledge challenges and communicate honestly

- Build trust among followers

7. Manage the heat

- Avoid unilateral decisions

- Involve others to gain broad-based support


8. Encourage questions and new ideas

- Make it safe for employees to raise issues and provide ideas

- Acknowledge that you don't have all the answers

9. Retain and develop top talent

- Watch for talent poachers

- Provide developmental experiences and rotational assignments

10. Make sure everyone is on the same page

- Gain alignment and commitment to key goals and strategies

- Address concerns and be alert to hidden agendas


You can download the full Toolkit for leading through a recession, which includes...

- A 'Discovery Map' : useful printable visual aid to Forum's ten steps

- Instruction and a discussion guide for getting your team to absorb and put into action the ten steps;

- a White Paper / Article that goes into greater detail;

- Two 'podcasts' in which Forum experts explain more about how to lead through a downturn and put the ten points into practise clicking here: Forum Corporation's Toolkit For Leading In Tough Times