Under pressure to curb skyrocketing costs, companies are at risk of cutting costs and damaging their reputations. Rapid market changes and a harsh economic climate is putting companies. in a difficult position. Not only do they have to cut costs but they need to do it in manner that will not cause negative stakeholder expectations or damage reputation, integrity and trust.
Well I see this time as an ideal opportunity for increased stakeholder engagement. Soliciting inputs from stakeholders about how to things better, faster and more elegantly may not only enhance reputations but can lead to enhanced efficiencies.
Let me use a practical example. During the recession in the 80’s I came home one day and asked our domestic servant how I could cut down. Her exact words were: “Stop buying your cleaning products from Woolies, you can buy it for much cheaper in Honeydew”. The morale of the story. Employees often have ideas and thoughts about these things.
Why not ask them? Why not provide them with incentives to do so? Why don’t you run cost reduction and creative thinking workshops? Why not reactivate that rusty suggestion scheme of yours?
Learning and developing new ways of doing things have become crucial. Activating the brainpower of your stakeholders should make for a good start.
This old blog post of mine on implementing Suggestion Schemes may spark some ideas.