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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing in a Downturn (with bonus article "Reigniting Growth" By Chris Zook and James Allen)

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If you listen and/or read to nothing else on preparing for a tough economy and coming back stronger, you need look no further than these 10 articles written by the top experts in the field. We've combined hundreds of 'Harvard Business Review' articles and selected the most important ones to help your company persevere through economic challenges and continue to grow even a If you listen and/or read to nothing else on preparing for a tough economy and coming back stronger, you need look no further than these 10 articles written by the top experts in the field. We've combined hundreds of 'Harvard Business Review' articles and selected the most important ones to help your company persevere through economic challenges and continue to grow even as your competitor's stumble. This book will inspire you to get your company ready before a downturn strikes, learn the right lessons from previous recessions, minimize pain while cutting costs and managing risk, foster a healthy organizational culture during anxious times, and seize the opportunity to innovate and reinvent your business. This collection includes "Seize Advantage in a Downturn" by David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter; "How to Survive a Recession and Thrive Afterward: A Research Roundup" by Walter Frick; "How to Bounce Back from Adversity" by Joshua D. Margolis and Paul G. Stoltz; "Rohm and Haas's Former CEO on Pulling Off a Sweet Deal in a Down Market" by Raj Gupta; "Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis" by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky; "How to Be a Good Boss in a Bad Economy" by Robert I. Sutton; "Layoffs That Break Your Company" by Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta; and "Getting Reorgs Right" by Stephen Heidari-Robinson and Suzanne Heywood. PLEASE NOTE: If purchasing this title in audio format, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. ©2019 Harvard Business Publishing Corporation (P)2019 Gildan Media


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If you listen and/or read to nothing else on preparing for a tough economy and coming back stronger, you need look no further than these 10 articles written by the top experts in the field. We've combined hundreds of 'Harvard Business Review' articles and selected the most important ones to help your company persevere through economic challenges and continue to grow even a If you listen and/or read to nothing else on preparing for a tough economy and coming back stronger, you need look no further than these 10 articles written by the top experts in the field. We've combined hundreds of 'Harvard Business Review' articles and selected the most important ones to help your company persevere through economic challenges and continue to grow even as your competitor's stumble. This book will inspire you to get your company ready before a downturn strikes, learn the right lessons from previous recessions, minimize pain while cutting costs and managing risk, foster a healthy organizational culture during anxious times, and seize the opportunity to innovate and reinvent your business. This collection includes "Seize Advantage in a Downturn" by David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter; "How to Survive a Recession and Thrive Afterward: A Research Roundup" by Walter Frick; "How to Bounce Back from Adversity" by Joshua D. Margolis and Paul G. Stoltz; "Rohm and Haas's Former CEO on Pulling Off a Sweet Deal in a Down Market" by Raj Gupta; "Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis" by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky; "How to Be a Good Boss in a Bad Economy" by Robert I. Sutton; "Layoffs That Break Your Company" by Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta; and "Getting Reorgs Right" by Stephen Heidari-Robinson and Suzanne Heywood. PLEASE NOTE: If purchasing this title in audio format, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. ©2019 Harvard Business Publishing Corporation (P)2019 Gildan Media

30 review for HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing in a Downturn (with bonus article "Reigniting Growth" By Chris Zook and James Allen)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amit Verma

    Harvard business review always showcases wonderful articles and works. In present scenario this is a timely book. When everything is looking down, one should learn to first survive and then rebound. Book in a serial manner describes, what can be done and what should be done. It tells how company should react, managing manpower and inventory and changing traditional working model. I liked chapter on managing layoffs in an optimal manner. A very good book that highlights wrong things that a company may Harvard business review always showcases wonderful articles and works. In present scenario this is a timely book. When everything is looking down, one should learn to first survive and then rebound. Book in a serial manner describes, what can be done and what should be done. It tells how company should react, managing manpower and inventory and changing traditional working model. I liked chapter on managing layoffs in an optimal manner. A very good book that highlights wrong things that a company may commit in tough times. Very informative and concise that will certainly teach few lessons to battered enterpreneurs. There is enough in it to read it anyday and anytime.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Archit

    The first few chapters were excellent since they contained decisive steps to be taken to contain the detrimental effects of an adversity. Chapter 1 - Seize Advantage in a Downturn by David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter • Rising anxiety pressure to do something often produces a variety of uncoordinated moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one. • What is your exposure? 1. Consider various scenarios, sketch out at least 3 – Modest Downturn, a More Severe Recession and Full-blown Dep The first few chapters were excellent since they contained decisive steps to be taken to contain the detrimental effects of an adversity. Chapter 1 - Seize Advantage in a Downturn by David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter • Rising anxiety pressure to do something often produces a variety of uncoordinated moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one. • What is your exposure? 1. Consider various scenarios, sketch out at least 3 – Modest Downturn, a More Severe Recession and Full-blown Depression. Consider which is likely to unfold based on your Business & Industry • banking losses had outstripped those of recent financial disasters, including the United States savings and loan crisis (1986–1995), the Japanese banking crisis (1990–1999), and the Asian financial crisis (1998–1999). • Next, determine the ways in which each of the scenarios might affect your business. How would consumers’ limited capacity to borrow reduce demand for your products? Will job insecurity and deflating asset prices make even the creditworthy increasingly reluctant to take on more debt? Will reduced demand affect your ability to secure short-term financing, or will weak stock markets make it difficult to raise equity? Even if you are able to tap the debt and equity markets, will higher borrowing costs and return requirements raise your cost of capital? • Quantify the impact for your business on major variables – sales volume, prices and variable costs • Financial Fundamentals – Liquidity is key; Cash Position, Customer credit, working capital & Financial structure, Share Price • Monitor and maximize your cash position o Calculate expected cash inflows and outflows o Produce a rolling weekly or monthly cash report o Centralize or pool cash across units • Tightly manage customer credit o Segment customers based on their credit risk o Offer financing only to credit-worthy or strategic customers o Assess trade-offs between credit risks and marginal sales • Aggressively manage working capital o Reduce inventories by monitoring production and sourcing o Reduce receivables by actively managing customer credit • Optimize your financial structure o Reduce debt and other liabilities o Secure access to lines of credit o Secure access to equity capital by tapping nonmarket sources such as sovereign wealth funds • Share Price o A strong market valuation relative to rivals is important in raising capital and acting on acquisition opportunities. So you need to Inform investors and analysts of your recession preparedness o Consider opting for dividend payments rather than share buybacks • Current business – Reduce costs & increase efficiency, Manage topline, rethink product mix and strategies, rein in planned investments & Sell assets • Reduce costs and increase efficiency o Root out long-standing activities that add little business value o Revive earlier efficiency initiatives too controversial to fully implement in better times o Consolidate or centralize key functions o Analyze current suppliers and procurement practices o Reexamine the economics of offshoring • Aggressively manage the top line o Revitalize customer retention initiatives o Realign sales force utilization and incentives to generate additional short-term revenue • Reallocate marketing spending toward immediate revenue generation • Consider more-generous financial terms for customers in return for higher prices • Rethink your product mix and pricing strategies o Offer lower-price versions of existing products o Identify products for which customers are still willing to pay full price o Consider creative strategies such as results-based or subscription pricing o Unbundle services and adopt à la carte pricing • Rein in planned investments and sell assets o Establish stringent capital allocation guidelines o Shed unproductive assets that were difficult to dispose of in good times o Divest noncore businesses • Assess rivals vulnerabilities (cost structure, financial position, sourcing strategies, product mix, customer focus) • Some obvious means of streamlining: stripping out layers of the organizational hierarchy to reduce head count, consolidating or centralizing key functions, discontinuing long-standing but low-value-added activities. SG&A expenses—selling, general, and administrative costs, such as marketing—are also prime targets for costcutting. As such, they can highlight the risks of purely reactive action: Companies that injudiciously slash marketing spending often find that they later must spend far more than they saved in order to recover from their prolonged absence from the media landscape. Opportunities to reduce materials and supply chain costs also arise in a downturn • Falling shipping costs could make offshoring more attractive, even for low-cost items; at the same time, a weakening domestic currency, trade barriers, and especially the cash tied up in the additional working capital required to source a product far from its market may offset any savings. • Invest in future (technology), pursue opportunistic M&A Chapter 2 – How to Survive a Recession and Thrive Afterward: A Research Roundup by Walter Frick • Recessions—defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth—can be caused by economic shocks (such as a spike in oil prices), financial panics (like the one that preceded the Great Recession), rapid changes in economic expectations (the so-called “animal spirits” described by John Maynard Keynes; this is what caused the dot-com bubble to burst), or some combination of the three. • Deleverage before a downturn, focus on decision-making (decentralization), look beyond layoffs (furloughs, hour reduction, performance pay, “Short-time” compensation program where people receive unemployment compensation), invest in tech Chapter 3 – How to Bounce Back from Adversity by Joshua D. Margolis and Paul G. Stoltz • 4 lenses to make the shift from adversity to positivity- Control (focus on things you can control), Impact (instead of focusing on yourself, try to ascertain what positive impact you can create on others), Breadth & Duration • 3 types of questions for the 4 lenses above – Specifying Questions (targeted), Visualising (shifts attention away from adverse event & to a positive outcome), Collaborating (joint problem-solving) • Control – Specific (what can I control), Visualise (what can I do which my manager will appreciate), collaborate (who on my team can help me & how to engage them) • Impact – Specific (how can I make an immediate positive impact), visualize (what positive effect can I create on others via effort), Collaborate (how to mobilise others who are hanging back) • Breadth – how to minimize downside, what strengths & resources my team and I will develop, what can we do as a team to contain the damage and transform into an opportunity Chapter 4 – Rohm and Haas’s Former CEO on Pulling off a Sweet Deal in a Down Market by Raj Gupta Story about sale of Rohm and Haas to dow chemicals Chapter 5 – How to Be a Good Boss in a Bad Economy by Robert I. Sutton • Announce key dates, convey business case for reorg, give employees opp to find job within/ outside the company, empathy Chapter 6 - Layoffs That Don’t Break Your Company by Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta • Two forces – automation, global competition, are transforming nature of work • Nokia (Bochum Plant layoff) • Some countries require social or economic justification for layoff • Layoffs have been increasing steadily since the 1970s. In 1979 fewer than 5% of Fortune 100 companies announced layoffs, according to McMaster University sociology professor Art Budros, but in 1994 almost 45% did. A McKinsey survey of 2,000 U.S. companies found that from 2008 to 2011 (during the recession and its aftermath), 65% resorted to layoffs. Today layoffs have become a default response to an uncertain future marked by rapid advances in technology, tumultuous markets, and intense competition Chapter 7 – Getting Reorgs Right by Stephen Heidari-Robinson and Suzanne Heywood common mistake in this step is to focus on what the organization looks like (its reporting structure, for instance) and forget about how it works (management and business processes and systems; and the numbers, capabilities, mindsets, and behaviors of its people) Chapter 8 – Reigniting Growth by Chris Zook and James Allen (1) They view themselves as business insurgents, fighting in behalf of underserved customers; (2) they have an obsession with the front line, where the business meets the customer; and (3) they foster a mindset that includes a deep sense of responsibility for how resources are used and for longterm results. Because these qualities are most vibrant in companies led by bold, ambitious founders, we call them “the founder’s mentality The Home Depot’s internal television station and quoted extensively from Marcus and Blank’s book, Built from Scratch. In particular, he highlighted two of their charts. One listed their core values, and the other gave pride of place, at the top of an inverted triangle, to the company’s front line: its stores, where customers and employees interact. Chapter 9 – Reinvent Your Business Model Before It’s Too Late by Paul Nunes and Tim Breene Prominent examples include Dell with its direct model of PC sales, Wal-Mart with its unique supply chain capabilities, and Toyota with not just its production method but also its engineering capabilities, which made possible Lexus’s luxury cars and the Prius. But distinctiveness in capabilities—like the basis of competition—is fleeting, so executives must invest in developing new ones in order to jump to the next capabilities S curve. Chapter 10 – How to Protect Your Job in a Recession by Janet Banks and Diane Coutu Intellectually, you understand that downsizing isn’t personal; it’s just a law of commerce, but your heart sinks at the prospect of losing your position. • Act like a survivor (demonstrate positivity and cheerfulness), display versatility, don multiple hats • Chapter 11 - Learning from the Future by J. Peter Scoblic Uncertainty was so all-encompassing that to fully capture the dimensions of the problem, researchers had devised elaborate acronyms such as VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) and TUNA (turbulent, uncertain, novel, and ambiguous). The most recognizable tool of strategic foresight is scenario planning. It involves several stages: identifying forces that will shape future market and operating conditions; exploring how those drivers may interact; imagining a variety of plausible futures; revising mental models of the present on the basis of those futures; and then using those new models to devise strategies that prepare organizations for whatever the future actually brings. Chapter 12 – 5 Ways to Stimulate Cash Flow in a Downturn by Eddie Yoon and Christopher Lochhead • Secure sales by warrantees, guarantees and return policies • iMplement new revenue and pricing models (subscription based) • accelerate innovation • Cut sacred cow marketing costs • Engage in new kinds of customer acquisition (either via M&A or via strategic sampling – eg. zoom provided K-12 education for free Chapter 13 – The Case for M&A in a Downturn by Brian Salsberg Chapter 14 – Include Your Employees in Cost-Cutting Decisions by Patrick Daoust and Paul Simon leaders should redesign their operations based on data provided by their most valuable sources of proprietary insights—their employees. Democratizing the collection of data and recommendations allows leadership teams to gain a much clearer picture of activities and initiatives underway within their organizations. Chapter 15 - Preparing Your Business for a Post-Pandemic World by Carsten Lund Pedersen and Thomas Ritter

  3. 4 out of 5

    Varun Mittal

    Tier 1 consulting firms, CEOs of top corporations, and academia come together in this book to bring strategies, implementations, and emotional anecdotes on resolving downturns to life. The book is a must read for professionals specifically operating in the following key areas - turnaround, restructuring, distress, bankruptcy, and performance improvement. For generic enthusiasts of business and management, you will surely pick up something of interest from this book as well. Give this short but p Tier 1 consulting firms, CEOs of top corporations, and academia come together in this book to bring strategies, implementations, and emotional anecdotes on resolving downturns to life. The book is a must read for professionals specifically operating in the following key areas - turnaround, restructuring, distress, bankruptcy, and performance improvement. For generic enthusiasts of business and management, you will surely pick up something of interest from this book as well. Give this short but profound read a try!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mukesh Gupta

    I got. Digital copy of this book via Netgalley. Given the current circumstances that we are in, the book’s timing could not have been better. The posts that are featured in the book are each better than the other. They cover every aspect of what a typical downturn brings to pass. Leading, managing cash, innovation, growth, job loss, pain and everything between them. The book is a must read for every executive.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    An interesting and useful read perfect for this bleak moment and the current economical downturn. It's full of food for thought and interesting analysis that can surely be useful at any level to understand what's going and how the economical world can react. It's highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine. An interesting and useful read perfect for this bleak moment and the current economical downturn. It's full of food for thought and interesting analysis that can surely be useful at any level to understand what's going and how the economical world can react. It's highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hartman

    A look at what steps businesses took to overcome the Great Recession - how successful business overcame challenges, and what ended those that didn’t make it through.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mehmet Zahit Ates

  8. 5 out of 5

    Muthurajesh Gunasingh

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thad

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Auerbach

  11. 4 out of 5

    Logan Brown

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Krastev

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Keck

  14. 5 out of 5

    Noyal

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diogo Ribeiro

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Newcomb

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marko Suswanto

  18. 4 out of 5

    Giovanni Casinelli

  19. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nuri

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  22. 4 out of 5

    Darren

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Koh

  24. 4 out of 5

    Thk

  25. 4 out of 5

    Peter Håkansson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mina

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennet

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Baptiste Vayleux

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tingting

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