Strategies from the Book and from Vistage CEOs
By Gail Schaper-Gordon, Ph.D.
In his concise, accessible book, published in 2009, Ram Charan noted: “We will not know when we have turned the corner, and we cannot envision the shape and scope of the world that will emerge. What we can be sure of is that this is a time of tumultuous change, and with change come both danger and opportunity.”
In the past two years working with my Vistage CEO Group members and consulting clients, I have witnessed mostly the dangers that they have faced. Nevertheless, opportunities are now beginning to take shape for the survivors. (I find it interesting that Charan describes the end of the economic downturn as our having “turned the corner,” in juxtaposition with Robert Bloom’s recommendation for us to “look around the corner.”)
My Vistage members have worked with each other to come up with strategies and tactics to manage the challenges that they have faced. Interestingly, they’ve applied many of the same practical actions presented by Charan:
In order to accomplish these very time-consuming strategies, my Vistage members have had to become more hands-on executives. They had to adopt a much more focused grasp of reality and become more in charge of the basic operations of their companies. They have had to focus more intensely on their role as chief executive of their companies. All of this has left them little time to think more than a few months ahead. I am sure that many of you reading this have had the same experience.
In order to see and take advantage of the opportunities, all of us must begin to find new ways to look ahead and “around the corner.” It’s not likely that you will wake up one morning with an epiphany that’s an innovative approach to your entire business. Instead, the shift will require allocating a significant amount of time where you are:
Here are some suggestions for how to do this: