Five Steps to Keeping Your Job
1. Find out what is most important to your company right now.
Raise Revenue is an easy answer and the most obvious.
Cut Spending is number two.
Increase Customer Satisfaction completes the list of the obvious.
If you can be instrumental in accomplishing just one of these, you get to keep your job. If you can do any two of them, you are on the fast track to the senior executive lounge. If you can do three of them, you are a business god and should be running your own company.
2. Determine which of the three imperatives is considered most significant today
The one imperative deemed the most important at the moment deserves your focus. Pursuing the objective deemed most critical will ensure collaboration and support. If you feel strongly that the most esteemed objective was mistakenly chosen (rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic) it may be time to find or create another place to work.
3. Break down the one objective into constituent parts and understand how they are evaluated.
There are ways to raise revenue, lower costs and increase customer satisfaction that will not result in a positive assessment if you do not first understand how they are measured. The favored formulae may not be as indicative as they should. If the yard stick is wrong, it is still the standard for appraisal. Your choice is to accept the benchmark warts and all, advocate a change to it, or leave the deck chairs to others.
4. Experiment with the fastest, cheapest and highest potential yield levers.
Identify and map out the elements that impact the final evaluation of the objective and determine which elements are workable. What adjustable levers can be used to impact the outcome? Assign a potential cost of adjusting each inflection point and estimate the potential effect on the objective outcome.
It may cost more to increase the number of people who come to your website by 20% through advertising than it costs to increase the conversion rate of browsers to buyers which will result in 20% more revenue. It might cost next to nothing to implement a new customer service process that raises satisfaction by 10%. It might be possible to rewrite a landing page than results in a larger number of qualified leads.
Pick the lever with the lowest cost and the highest yield and start experimenting. Show your work; take notes.
5. Share your success.
Dear Board, President, Standing Committee, Boss:
This is what I saw
This is what I thought
This is what I did
This is what it cost
This is what it gained
Therefore, this is what I think we should do
Graciously accept their gratitude.