For MDs and CHROs: 3 lessons from 2009-2010 you should remember
21 March 2020
In view of the complex scenarios currently playing out worldwide, I have reflected on my learnings from the 2009-2010 crisis and would like to share some thoughts for you to keep it in mind:
1. “Rightsizing” or “Downsizing”
One of the challenges that companies faced in 2009-2010 was having to let go of executives in their organization due to company-wide Downsizing. This was mostly done without taking into account a few important points highlighted in our Rightsizing vision. Our suggestion is that companies make these kinds of decisions after taking into consideration additional character dimensions; especially in terms of Values. For instance, is it a good idea to retain a “Key Player” but who is not “married” to the company, or is it better to retain one who does not stand out as much, but is “madly in love” with the company?
In the current environment, faced with the challenge of maintaining income and ensuring key processes are not hindered, are the individuals evaluated as “Key Players” performing up to the challenge and showing why they have been evaluated in this way? Or are “hidden talents” suddenly emerging? Are those individuals who have not been ranked as “Key Players” demonstrating leadership, proposing ideas, initiative, etc.?
2. Cost / Benefit
As we know, many companies carried out a rigorous Downsizing in 2009-2010. The result was that 12 or 18 months later they were in the process of rebuilding their functional areas. Under the Rightsizing concept, in case a decision has already been made about reducing overhead, we suggest doing a cost/benefit analysis that takes into account the cost of such reconstruction and puts a value on the time and effort it will take to recover the experience and talent that will be lost.
The vast majority of executives who have gone through an Outplacement process speak highly of the company they left, which can contribute to the positive image and reputation of said company. Seen in this way, engaging an outplacement service turns out to be more of an investment than an expense. With our experience in executive search and talent consulting, our focus is to help executives reflect upon their next career step through our ‘Moving Forward’ tool.
I hope that these reflections help you make the best decisions at this very sensitive moment. If you wish to discuss these thoughts, please contact me. To speak with an expert in your region, please approach a local Signium Partner.