Any small business owner knows how important it is to stay flexible, especially in an economic downturn, and yet many organizations are plagued with a surprising lack of elasticity. Inflexibility is something that easily creeps into a business—especially in industries that are static. But such rigidity can contribute to forced flexibility measures in the form of layoffs, pay cuts, rolling back of company perks, etc. After implementing such measures, it is hard to get employees to perform at a high level because of fear and insecurity about what the future may bring.
Consider the following three suggestions to help you keep your company flexible:
1. Always look for a way to be innovative with your product or service. Look at everything that goes on in your organization and your industry. No matter how static you think your particular industry is, continue to pay attention to what’s going on around you and continue to strive to think outside the box.
2. Listen to all ideas that circulate in your company. You never know when the next big thing is going to hit or where it will come from. Listening to input and feedback from your employees can give you insight into many different channels.
3. Never become complacent. Complacency is the easiest way to fall into the inflexibility trap. No matter what your industry, you need to be ready to adapt to changes that will inevitably come. No industry stays stationary forever.
David K. Williams
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