In times of recession, not knowing how to shift will lead to failure

Not all leaders are Advantage-Makers. Leaders with the penetrating insight and sound judgment of an Advantage-Maker are able to turn situations to their best possible advantage, create superior outcomes in the face of constraints, and guard against the designs of their competitors.

Are you ready to take your Advantage-Making ability to the next level?
Many managers wait too long or in this recession play duck and cover. And worse, they repeat what they know instead of shifting. This is a surprising and unfortunate conclusion about failing companies and failing executives. In times of disruption, they rely upon the same strategy they used to succeed in the past.
In my book, The Advantage-Makers, I point out that Advantage-Makers are originators. Their impulse is original. To originate requires a shift. In a practical sense, new products and services aren’t introduced every day, but your capacity for fresh thinking exists every day.
Advantage-Making is not as much creativity, as it is Shifting
Will you engage in strategic shifts when you encounter challenges? In essence, the code of the Advantage-Makers is based upon shifts —- more specifically shifting time, interactions, perceptions and structures. Therefore, at your core, have you deliberately cultivated the capacity to shift?
Advantage-Making is a Craft
This is not a once-you-read-it-now-you’re-done type of talent. Professional actors think of acting as a craft. Excelling in their craft requires learning specific distinctions to get into character. Musicians work on scales to keep their skills honed. Similarly, advantage-making is a craft that improves with practice.
Do the most with the hand dealt to you
While working with George Prince, CEO, of Synectics, we engaged in a research project to understand how to ‘manage innovation with others.’ One of the profound insights we discovered was each winning innovator had a p private question that drove their success. In George’s case, his hidden question was, “Am I making this ‘situation’ what it could be?”
This questions orients and reveals an internal drive – an ambitious curiosity. George’s strong intent and his way of operating had two tendencies. He would shift to different vantage points to view the issues – close up, helicopter view, people view, tech view etc, and he would imagine what those situations could be. In other words, he was generating a world of possibility. George’s ongoing sensibilities was to make these possibilities practical, workable realities. Increasing the chances of spotting an opportunity begins with you exercising the craft.
Contrast George’s approach with a CEO who made money on a single business proposition that he implemented. It worked—until the market changed and he couldn’t change with it. A difference exists between those who are guided by an Advantage-Making question and those who have a one-time win. The CEO stopped looking for vantage points; his personal question was something like, “Is this working?” Similar to a thermostat, he wasn’t thinking or considering anything that could be done.
So consider which approach will win more often
“How am I making this ‘situation’ what it could be?”
“Is this working?”
Furthermore, if your internal question is, “How will they use this against me?” it will narrow your focus, and make Advantage-Making more difficult for you. Each of us has a question, find out yours, it’s determining your level of success. You may be repeating the same old strategy without knowing it.
Don’t wait. Use the Advantage-Making question today (there are others, but try this one now). You have to do more with less. You can cut, and should, where you are not getting value. But across the board cutting is a ‘duck and cover’ strategy. The real problem with duck and cover is eventually you’ve ducked and covered so much you missed the fact that you are now the cut back.
Ask the wrong question, you’ll get an answer, but the recession could turn into a personal depression.
If you absolutely had to make get more revenue, not just cut expenses, would you duck and cover?
The first step to your success in this recession is a question away.
Your future is on the line, ask the right questions.