What Staying Lean Doesn’t Mean

During these down times, companies are looking within to find cost-cutting measures to survive the rollercoaster of economic recession.  Many will experience such a negative impact on their business that rebound may be too difficult.  Staying lean across the board – through reduction in people, technology, bonuses, etc. – is what every company seems to be doing.

But…what about your business? How lean is too lean? Organizations in a crisis tend to slash and cut with a short-term mentality.  Wouldn’t you rather thrive, than merely survive?LeanPill-1

“It is well documented that brands that increase during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.”

Harvard Business Review


The downside to reducing staff is the inevitable pause of projects due to lack of resources. Consider using contractors to finish projects and keep goals on track.Many times, contract resource costs can be applied to project and/or expense budgets.


Fiscal downtime is no reason to cut back on technology or hold projects in queue, waiting for the upswing. Improving efficiencies and streamlining operations is a crucial component to staying lean, and preparing for long-term success. Investing in technology (or remediating underperforming technology) supports this goal.


Employee reward programs are often the first to go during economic downtime. Remember, employees must work together during these times to achieve business goals. Pulling extra weight deserves recognition and appreciation. Consider small tokens of reward for employees that go above and beyond.Sometimes just knowing you’re appreciated is enough to satisfy until bonus programs resume.

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