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Don’t Shrink – RETHINK!
By Eileen McDargh

Now is the time to pull together and think creatively about our businesses. When times are easy, unfortunately, we often lose the edge to monitor performance, to question out-dated procedures and unnecessary expenses. Maintenance items slip when we’re busy “filling orders”. This might be anything from physical maintenance to reconnecting with clients, to exploring new opportunities for growth, to taking classes for improvement and enrichment.

Consider brainstorming some of these questions:

What would happen if we had a product that was 180 degrees different from today? (Example: A hospital with low census went from finding ways to get sick people in the door to finding ways to get well people in the door! They re-created their unused physical space into a wellness center and found lots of takers!)

What if we blew up the business and started all over? What would we get rid of because it is extraneous, irrelevant or an unnecessary expense? (Example: How many people really READ that report? Does it have to be so immense? What’s the bottom line here? )

Have we put people in positions where they play to their strengths? Talk, talk, talk and figure out where is the match. (Example: One employee is great with web research, web design, and staying up on the competition. She’s lousy on the phone. Right now, she’s willing to cut back and work half-time from her house with a company-supplied computer and cable modem.)

If your job opened up today, would you get it? Are you consistently producing great results, solving problems and finding more efficient ways of doing things? (Example: Take on a project no one wants and make it work. Can you persuade people to get onboard and achieve a goal? Now, that’s leadership—a quality that is in GREAT demand and therefore, recession-proof.)

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Eileen McDargh is founder of McDargh Communications, a consulting and training company specializing in inner and interpersonal skill development for the purpose of improving the life of a business and the business of life. Visit Eileen at

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