What can we learn from the age of austerity?

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Adam Barber
July 25, 2012
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
What can we learn from the age of austerity?

There’s a lot to be said about this so-called age of austerity.

No, really.

For most, it brings a series of not insignificant challenges, as budgets shrink, cash gets stuffed away and the market develops a sudden reticence to spend.

However, it’s only through such commercial pain that some companies are forced to re-evaluate what they do and why they do it.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that as budgets get squeezed, output dips and company results and profitability comes under increasing scrutiny that, at the very top, there’s a changing of the guard.

And here’s the thing. For many, this shuffling of the management pack actually makes a lot of sense.

As short-term sales suffer, differences between senior executives and their teams quickly rise to the surface. Company strategy gets called into question, future expansion and investment plans get re-evaluated and assessed and, in most instances at least, a business stops to think.

For some, this brief period of reflection is vital to secure long-term commercial growth and, as such, can be wholly beneficial.

Does Manager X really have a handle on their particular area of operations? Is Director Y really likely to hit those all-important quarterly targets? And if the individuals aren’t performing – is it the brief or the individual that doesn’t fit?

A potential benefit, then. Particularly when working in a fast-moving market.

However, for others, it’s not always quite so clear-cut. And while management team reshuffles can often start with the best of commercial intentions, if left unchecked then can prove a dangerous distraction – shifting the gaze from the factory floor just when that focus is needed the most.

Now let’s be clear. Hiring and firing has been and always will be a deeply political process – and only ever partially based on an individual’s true performance.

As such I maintain that it’s a challenge for anyone – at any level – to make a decision that’s genuinely focused on the exclusive interests of the firm.

However, irrespective of this, these difficult decisions have to continue to be made and a period of economic austerity often offers a commercial catalyst that many might not usually admit that they really need.

Sometimes, there’s never a good time to make a difficult decision. Forced or not, perhaps the current market malaise offers just the thing to instigate a changing of the guard?

There’s a lot to be said about this so-called age of austerity.

No, really.

For most, it brings a series of not insignificant challenges, as budgets shrink, cash gets stuffed away and the market develops a sudden reticence to spend.

However, it’s only through such commercial pain that some companies are forced to re-evaluate what they do and why they do it.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that as budgets get squeezed, output dips and company results and profitability comes under increasing scrutiny that, at the very top, there’s a changing of the guard.

And here’s the thing. For many, this shuffling of the management pack actually makes a lot of sense.

As short-term sales suffer, differences between senior executives and their teams quickly rise to the surface. Company strategy gets called into question, future expansion and investment plans get re-evaluated and assessed and, in most instances at least, a business stops to think.

For some, this brief period of reflection is vital to secure long-term commercial growth and, as such, can be wholly beneficial.

Does Manager X really have a handle on their particular area of operations? Is Director Y really likely to hit those all-important quarterly targets? And if the individuals aren’t performing – is it the brief or the individual that doesn’t fit?

A potential benefit, then. Particularly when working in a fast-moving market.

However, for others, it’s not always quite so clear-cut. And while management team reshuffles can often start with the best of commercial intentions, if left unchecked then can prove a dangerous distraction – shifting the gaze from the factory floor just when that focus is needed the most.

Now let’s be clear. Hiring and firing has been and always will be a deeply political process – and only ever partially based on an individual’s true performance.

As such I maintain that it’s a challenge for anyone – at any level – to make a decision that’s genuinely focused on the exclusive interests of the firm.

However, irrespective of this, these difficult decisions have to continue to be made and a period of economic austerity often offers a commercial catalyst that many might not usually admit that they really need.

Sometimes, there’s never a good time to make a difficult decision. Forced or not, perhaps the current market malaise offers just the thing to instigate a changing of the guard?

There’s a lot to be said about this so-called age of austerity.

No, really.

For most, it brings a series of not insignificant challenges, as budgets shrink, cash gets stuffed away and the market develops a sudden reticence to spend.

However, it’s only through such commercial pain that some companies are forced to re-evaluate what they do and why they do it.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that as budgets get squeezed, output dips and company results and profitability comes under increasing scrutiny that, at the very top, there’s a changing of the guard.

And here’s the thing. For many, this shuffling of the management pack actually makes a lot of sense.

As short-term sales suffer, differences between senior executives and their teams quickly rise to the surface. Company strategy gets called into question, future expansion and investment plans get re-evaluated and assessed and, in most instances at least, a business stops to think.

For some, this brief period of reflection is vital to secure long-term commercial growth and, as such, can be wholly beneficial.

Does Manager X really have a handle on their particular area of operations? Is Director Y really likely to hit those all-important quarterly targets? And if the individuals aren’t performing – is it the brief or the individual that doesn’t fit?

A potential benefit, then. Particularly when working in a fast-moving market.

However, for others, it’s not always quite so clear-cut. And while management team reshuffles can often start with the best of commercial intentions, if left unchecked then can prove a dangerous distraction – shifting the gaze from the factory floor just when that focus is needed the most.

Now let’s be clear. Hiring and firing has been and always will be a deeply political process – and only ever partially based on an individual’s true performance.

As such I maintain that it’s a challenge for anyone – at any level – to make a decision that’s genuinely focused on the exclusive interests of the firm.

However, irrespective of this, these difficult decisions have to continue to be made and a period of economic austerity often offers a commercial catalyst that many might not usually admit that they really need.

Sometimes, there’s never a good time to make a difficult decision. Forced or not, perhaps the current market malaise offers just the thing to instigate a changing of the guard?

There’s a lot to be said about this so-called age of austerity.

No, really.

For most, it brings a series of not insignificant challenges, as budgets shrink, cash gets stuffed away and the market develops a sudden reticence to spend.

However, it’s only through such commercial pain that some companies are forced to re-evaluate what they do and why they do it.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that as budgets get squeezed, output dips and company results and profitability comes under increasing scrutiny that, at the very top, there’s a changing of the guard.

And here’s the thing. For many, this shuffling of the management pack actually makes a lot of sense.

As short-term sales suffer, differences between senior executives and their teams quickly rise to the surface. Company strategy gets called into question, future expansion and investment plans get re-evaluated and assessed and, in most instances at least, a business stops to think.

For some, this brief period of reflection is vital to secure long-term commercial growth and, as such, can be wholly beneficial.

Does Manager X really have a handle on their particular area of operations? Is Director Y really likely to hit those all-important quarterly targets? And if the individuals aren’t performing – is it the brief or the individual that doesn’t fit?

A potential benefit, then. Particularly when working in a fast-moving market.

However, for others, it’s not always quite so clear-cut. And while management team reshuffles can often start with the best of commercial intentions, if left unchecked then can prove a dangerous distraction – shifting the gaze from the factory floor just when that focus is needed the most.

Now let’s be clear. Hiring and firing has been and always will be a deeply political process – and only ever partially based on an individual’s true performance.

As such I maintain that it’s a challenge for anyone – at any level – to make a decision that’s genuinely focused on the exclusive interests of the firm.

However, irrespective of this, these difficult decisions have to continue to be made and a period of economic austerity often offers a commercial catalyst that many might not usually admit that they really need.

Sometimes, there’s never a good time to make a difficult decision. Forced or not, perhaps the current market malaise offers just the thing to instigate a changing of the guard?

There’s a lot to be said about this so-called age of austerity.

No, really.

For most, it brings a series of not insignificant challenges, as budgets shrink, cash gets stuffed away and the market develops a sudden reticence to spend.

However, it’s only through such commercial pain that some companies are forced to re-evaluate what they do and why they do it.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that as budgets get squeezed, output dips and company results and profitability comes under increasing scrutiny that, at the very top, there’s a changing of the guard.

And here’s the thing. For many, this shuffling of the management pack actually makes a lot of sense.

As short-term sales suffer, differences between senior executives and their teams quickly rise to the surface. Company strategy gets called into question, future expansion and investment plans get re-evaluated and assessed and, in most instances at least, a business stops to think.

For some, this brief period of reflection is vital to secure long-term commercial growth and, as such, can be wholly beneficial.

Does Manager X really have a handle on their particular area of operations? Is Director Y really likely to hit those all-important quarterly targets? And if the individuals aren’t performing – is it the brief or the individual that doesn’t fit?

A potential benefit, then. Particularly when working in a fast-moving market.

However, for others, it’s not always quite so clear-cut. And while management team reshuffles can often start with the best of commercial intentions, if left unchecked then can prove a dangerous distraction – shifting the gaze from the factory floor just when that focus is needed the most.

Now let’s be clear. Hiring and firing has been and always will be a deeply political process – and only ever partially based on an individual’s true performance.

As such I maintain that it’s a challenge for anyone – at any level – to make a decision that’s genuinely focused on the exclusive interests of the firm.

However, irrespective of this, these difficult decisions have to continue to be made and a period of economic austerity often offers a commercial catalyst that many might not usually admit that they really need.

Sometimes, there’s never a good time to make a difficult decision. Forced or not, perhaps the current market malaise offers just the thing to instigate a changing of the guard?

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Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.