Leadership Slideshow: Accelerating Out of the Recession

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 09-15-2009

Accelerating Out of the Recession

In a recent poll conducted by Deloitte, the firm found that 72.2 percent of executives believe the recession will end by second quarter of 2010.

Accelerating Out of the Recession

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Deloitte breaks down recessionary executive activity into three stages: Over the Edge, Lumpy and Bumpy and Growing into a New Reality.

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Over the Edge: In this first phase, executives focus on immediate cost reductions and cash preservation.

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Lumpy and Bumpy: executives operationalize gains from the previous phase and make structural changes that will last. There's more of a focus on ROI than savings.

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Growing into a New Reality: Executives are beginning to wrap their arms around the economics and competition of their new industry landscape. Their focus shifts to driving growth and coming out of the downturn stronger than they came in.

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Deloitte believes most organizations are still stuck in phase one, but that executives need to start thinking soon about shifting their mindsets into the second and third phase.

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"Without losing sight of liquidity, executives need to shift from being reactive to being proactive, seeking to strike the right balance between the need for stability and smart growth," the report advises.

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Deloitte recommends executives break down strategic action in regard to the recession into four major categories: preserving liquidity and capital, managing costs, positioning for profitable growth, and managing talent.

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In its survey, Deloitte found that, recently, 71 executives aggressively or radically pursued the preservation of liquidity and capital, 66 percent pursued a focus on costs, 56 percent pursued positioning for growth and 24 percent pursued management of talent.

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In the results category, 77 percent met or exceeded their goals for preserving liquidity, 78 percent met or exceeded goals for cost containment, 49 percent met or exceeded goals for growth and 54 percent met or exceeded goals for talent management.

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Deloitte believes executives need to focus more heavily on talent management and positioning for growth as we head into the end of the recession.

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Specifically for CIOs, Deloitte's advice is to champion smart investments such as cloud computing that will reduce operating costs, to promote efficiency without gutting support for innovation and to strive for better business alignment.

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If your reputation is built on innovation, don't gut R&D or engineering. If you're known for customer relations, then data mining and business intelligence operations need to remain strong. Keep go-to-market priorities in your sights.

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