Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Resilient Company

This year’s CEO Retreat is titled “The Resilient Company.” Timely topic, I think!

On a conference call with a couple dozen members yesterday, presenter Keith McFarland had them asking “can we start tomorrow?” Here are some excerpts from the call that offer insight into this Retreat program.

“Greatness is built into companies in the tough times, and not through the good times. If managed correctly, times of difficulty help firms discover hidden strengths, help them define latent capabilities, bring them down to fighting weight. The task of leadership is different during these times. It is important for leaders not to focus solely on getting through the challenges of the day. And that’s what a lot of people do. They hunker down and focus on getting through the challenges of the moment. If you do that, the kind of transformation that is possible during times of challenge will not happen.”

“Instead, CEOs need to guide their organizations to ask the fundamental questions about the business. It is a great time to face facts that you would have overlooked in more prosperous times. It is a great time to integrate new knowledge and insights that adversity always creates.”

“So we have really built this event around some of the themes of The Breakthrough Company, and also bringing in the ideas from my next book – which is called Bounce. It is a parable book. It is a story about a guy who is trying to turn a business around, and he ends up working out at the gym next to a guy who is an army ranger who just came back from Afghanistan. The story talks about what this guy learned about adversity from the army ranger. These are the same principles we need to apply today.”

“You’ve got these challenges that come with adversity naturally. You are squeezing to make the financials work, and everybody is working harder. On the other side of the equation we know that when people and groups come under pressure in organizations where there is a strong sense of belonging people rise to the occasion. You can actually get people to consider things they would not consider otherwise.”

“The task of the Virginia Council of CEOs is to get people out of the mode of hunkering down and into the mode that this adversity presents opportunity. Here’s what we are going to be focused on: How do you make sure that when your firm gets under pressure that you have the right kind of approach to make the best out of the situation?”

Posted by Scot McRoberts at 7:37 pm
Labels: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *