With this mantra of economic doom and gloom organizational leaders are shifting their focus away from Team Development and talent enhancement, forcing them to scramble to cut costs.

“…top leaders around the world ranked financial pressures to cut costs and rapid market decline as their toughest business challenges, dropping talent management to last on the list of business challenges. Developing and retaining high-performing talent is a key business strategy that should not be overlooked” – Training & Development Blog.

Is this concerning to anyone?

When the economy recovers and these organizations have an untrained unmotivated workforce that is unclear of their mission what will happen.

Additionally after a time of “we have to make cuts” the incentives for employees begin to fall into cutting corners. Once people see that the company is cutting cost and working to find the cheap way, this is when unethical practices rear up.

In the title of this post, I alluded to Jim Collins Hedgehog concept how are these leaders living to their Big Hairy Audacious Goals?
With a slash and burn technique that leaves employees who are talented open for courting by other organizations.

It appears to me that by being like the fox as Collins wrote “Here’s the truth: The problem isn’t the market’s rise or fall. The problem is people who react to events, rather than seek to create something great”.

While leadership of these organizations are scrambling to slash staff and are not invested in learning, they are falling behind in the gap.

What is an organization to do?

Those employees who remain with the team develop ways for them to enhance their skills. Begin with facilitating discussions around the topic of innovation. Once we view and utilize resources as an innovative process, then they can seek to create something great.

Strengthening the team and keep incentives placed on greatness, this time is when the character of the leadership is tested. This time is when the character of the organization is tested. These challenges are when innovative companies that focus on greatness break through.

The leadership that reacts in a panic acts on the whims of the market is behaving like the fox, just scrambling to do something, to show some progress.

It takes less time and investment to empower and develop incentives for your talent to innovate than it does to cut everything and start over. Keep the focus on your talent; they are what keep your leadership, team and organization profitable.