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Immunize Your Organization

“We vaccinate to protect our future.” This succinct message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains the importance of immunizations. During National Immunization Month, take the time to make sure you and your family’s shots are up-to-date and then initiate steps to protect the future health of your organization.

 

Much like vaccinations are an important shield against health threats for humans, business leaders can defend their organizations against internal and external threats by "immunizations" that take the form of careful planning.

 Immunization Blog 2010

With our economy in flux, CEOs must have plans in place to navigate today’s difficult economic times. Lee Froschheiser, president and CEO of Map, a management consulting firm, outlined seven steps for a plan to survive difficult times:

 

1.   Concentrate on what you can control - understand what you can and cannot control, so you’re not misdirecting your time, energy and resources.

2.   Hold regular team meetings- gather your team and set up weekly meetings to discuss and report what is happening within your organization.

3.   Have a “Plan B” - when hard times hit, have a strategy for cutting expenses.

4.   Step up your leadership - in times of crisis, emotions and actions set the tone. Remaining calm sets a good example for your team.

5.   Create teamwork - during a crisis when teamwork can weaken, challenge your team and push them to perform.

6.   Face the brutal facts - only then can you see where the business needs to go and how your leadership can take it there.

7.   Be open and ready to “reinvent yourself” - if you do reinvent yourself, and dabble in a different market or diversify products or services, you will need to define new business components for that fresh direction.

 

A crisis management plan also is essential for organizations. But if you aren’t reviewing and updating it on a regular basis, the plan will be far less effective. In order for your plan to work, all key players need to know their part. Take time to review your plan regularly and make any necessary updates.

 

Although situations may arise you did not expect during an actual crisis, having a plan in place and practicing your response provides a great foundation to begin to repair the situation.

 

Along with “immunizing” against external threats, pay attention to internal threats as well, including your employees. Unhappy staff members can bring down the morale of your organization and significantly decrease productivity. Success Performance Solutions found that 17 percent of employers experienced decreased productivity because of unhappy employees. Take time to evaluate your employees’ satisfaction with surveys and use their feedback to create a better work environment.

 

It’s always important to stay proactive against threats. The important thing is to be aware of what real ones exist in both your personal and professional lives and develop an action plan to put yourself in position for the best outcomes.

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