Crisis Champions: Conserve


In a crisis situation resources become scare or stretched. With dwindling resources come reduced options. Conservation whilst absolutely required to preserve resources, is as much about reallocation and mindful distribution. Organisations that can make the clarity of priorities early, have more options to preserve resources, more resources to reallocate, and more potential to pivot.

Again it requires some foresight, some thinking and some medium term consideration whilst still acting with urgency. “Every little thing counts in a crisis.” said Nehru. I think that is a wise observation.

Small actions and small amounts of resources applied in the right spot at the right time can yield great fruit.

In the midst of bringing Gloria Jeans Coffees back on track and facing huge pressures on all sides, we found a way to explore some future potential. We partnered with a Franchise Partner and built our first ‘drive thru’. It was a success from day one and became part of the model for the future. The easiest thing would have been to say no, conserve the cash and fight on one front. Conserving resources from other areas, we had some latitude that allowed us to explore this venture.

Our potential in a crisis has to be explored beyond survival if we are to have a sustainable future. Potential is realised through reallocation as well as conservation. You can’t do one without the other.

Sometimes we need a little crisis to get our adrenaline flowing and help us realize our potential.

In crisis two main resources come to the fore, if they weren’t there already. Firstly cash. No cash, you’re dead, conserve cash always and early. Cash talks in scarcity. It’s your oxygen, you need it to survive. Manage and get transparency on your cashflow, review, review, review. Cut costs and reallocate to revenue driving ventures, pivoting to meet new needs in a new market, and invest in future potential. Conserve and create. You can do both.

“When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.” According to the legend that is Magic Johnson. It’s so true. Character is exposed under pressure and your team will be under pressure. Connection with them will help conserve them in their hour of need. The better you care for them the more they will be able to give.

Keeping people engaged and brought to bear in the right places, is always going to be a hard ask. The simple solution of cutting costs by letting as many people go as possible, will give you what you deserve, a short-term hit followed by further decline. It’s not a good cycle. Will you have to let some people go, maybe, or is there a better way. Job share, reduced hours, reduced wages, whatever is required to make it happen. Ask them, you will be surprised what people will volunteer for. The reallocation of people to productive innovation and future potential revenue streams, will mean you have momentum coming out of a crisis. That is the difference that will help you win.

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