Plan now to optimize your company’s operational and IT fitness
What are we seeing in the markets?
It’s clear that 2023 will be a year of challenges and slower growth – with numerous market indices down more than 20% from early 2022, lenders and investors heavily scrutinizing potential acquisitions, fewer company transactions expected, and with rising interest rates driving a market reset for business and real estate.
Rain clouds pass and there will be sunny days ahead. This market reset won’t adversely impact everyone, as private equity often outperforms other investments when other markets are negative or in slow growth mode. This may present an opportunity to reorganize companies who historically exercised less constraint than they should have when emerging from the pandemic. Some prominent, larger companies are kicking things off via layoffs in order to curb spending and improve their numbers to meet investor or budgetary expectations.
Within our own client base, we watched as companies went on feeding frenzies in 2021 and early 2022 to support their growth strategies, despite optimizing roles or understanding how they would measure employee productivity. Some organizations overspent to capture or retain talent in key positions, only to find that those personnel or contributors weren’t all they hoped for.
As a result, in recent months we are seeing numerous leadership positions opening within organizations – which may be an indicator of companies realizing they don’t have the proper resources to guide them through their next evolution. Companies are still dealing with the challenge of supporting and managing their remote workforces – many still without the ability to measure productivity.
"The global economy is projected to expand at a sluggish pace of around 1.6% in 2023 as financial conditions tighten" – J.P. Morgan 2023 Market Outlook
What can you be doing?
Are you looking to improve things within your organization for 2023? Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for your company? If so, we can’t reiterate how important it is to have a documented plan that you communicate with your internal team, vendors, suppliers and – where appropriate – your customers. We often hear leaders tell us “We already know what we are good at” or “We know what we need to do”…yet seldom is this reflected within operations or with their customers. Rather, the perception from owners is that they are already doing all the right things…but a deeper look shows that companies aren’t always practicing what they preach.
Establish Your “Fitness Goals” for 2023
Where do you plan to be, how are you going to improve, and what are the steps that will get you there? Like many of us with New Year’s resolutions of getting leaner, fit, and living healthier this year…hopes and dreams don’t get you there. Clear and realistic goals, a solid plan, a monitoring and reporting system…these, along with simply doing the work, are all a part of measuring and tracking your improvement as the year progresses.
Ensure You Have Access to the Proper Equipment
Do you have the resources you need to execute and meet your goals? Personnel? Processes? Systems? What key components are you missing in order to successfully reach your desired end state? If you don’t know – assess and find out. If you do know – take inventory of what you have and what needs to be prioritized (or de-prioritized) in order to meet your goals.
Beyond ensuring you have the key components, identify how you will measure success. Be clear on the key performance indicators that you will be tracking…and be certain that you have access to the data that feed these. Ensure you’re aligned with your leaders and your IT goals are tightly aligned with business objectives.
Establish Your Plan, Coaching and Accountability Model
If you are clear on where you expect to improve your organization this year, and you have identified the missing resources you need – congratulations, you’re already ahead of 60% of your competition. To achieve your goals, you will need to establish a clear plan with measurable and achievable milestones. Be clear on what your ultimate definition for success is, how this will be measured, and work backwards to establish a clear plan of progression.
For each improvement project – have a clear owner who is accountable for results. (And no, this doesn’t mean stack 40 initiatives on the same manager or resource.) Maintain central oversight for your improvement program, with recurring status updates to track progress to completion. Have a dedicated coach or advisor for the program who is responsible for the overall health of these improvement efforts and can help your team stay on track. It will require focus to establish proper tempo, prevent distractions, maintain pace, clear obstacles, report progress and motivate the team to keep going.
How Can X1 Help?
If you don’t have an objective baseline for your current state, if you lack a plan for how to improve, or if you’re simply in need of a coach to help you along – we can assist you in:
Rapidly assessing your current state to identify organic (and practical) improvement opportunities, risks to be mitigated within the environment, and prioritized initiatives to streamline your operations and fully align technology with the business
Planning your improvement initiatives, establishing a budget, providing missing resources to achieve your objectives, and managing these efforts to meet proposed milestones
Evaluating your current IT spend and finding savings or increased value for your dollars expended – increasing your confidence you are investing in the right areas and that you have the right support
Assessing your IT and Operations teams, vendors and delivery capability against competitors and benchmarks
Providing dedicated leadership for key strategic projects to maintain momentum and complete efforts on time and within budget
Implementing appropriate leadership for your IT organization – including recruitment, onboarding, transition support and ongoing coaching for key positions
2023 Market Outlook – J.P. Morgan
2023 Prediction for Tech and Services Demand – Everest Group (via Forbes)