Grant Thornton just released its 12th annual ”Survey of U.S. Business Leaders,” which seeks to capture the tone and strategy of for-profit business decision-makers and their sense of the current business climate. A few of their major trend discoveries should sound strangely familiar to nonprofit cultural managers, and the corresponding strategies seem handy, as well (these come from the printed publication, not the web site):
- CEOs are feeling the squeeze
CEOs today are under a tremendous amount of pressure from all sides. Operational costs continue to mount as fuel, raw material and health care costs escalate, and ever-demanding customers refuse to allow companies to pass these costs along….CEOs can no longer afford to focus on just one side of the equation at a time. They must manage costs and customers simultaneously and at a more rapid pace than ever….
- Cost reduction is a team sport
CEOs are enlisting employees in the fight against operational costs. Not only are these business leaders challenging employees at all levels of the organization to search for cost-cutting opportunities, they are also working with their partners to trim the fat at each step in the supply chain….There are no more sacred cows, no more uncontrollable costs.
- Ensuring the value proposition is still valuable
Gone are the days when a company’s value proposition could be etched in stone and mounted on a wall….U.S. business leaders understand this and have put processes in place to facilitate change. They are reviewing their value proposition on a continual basis, refining it or completely redefining it as required….They are staying in close contact with customers to understand and anticipate their needs. And, they are organizing the right mix of skills to execute changes quickly and effectively.
- Creating tighter bonds with customers
Competition is intensifying. The market is becoming more crowded with competition from international companies to larger companies playing in smaller markets to companies diversifying into new markets. Customers are, therefore, not as loyal as they once were, making it increasingly important to strengthen relationships with key customers.
- You are only as good as your employees
A mediocre strategy executed well is better than a great strategy executed poorly….To leverage the power of their human capital, business leaders are more aggressively educating employees about the company’s value proposition and their role in delivering it, as well as empowering employees to take the actions necessary to deliver on this proposition.
- What gets measured gets managed
The abundance of data available to businesses today can be overwhelming. This data can be powerful, but only if companies are able to harness it. The majority of survey respondents have distilled the mounds of data available to the few critical measures needed to manage day-to-day operations with more precision.
You can request a free copy of the survey report on-line, if you don’t mind getting on the marketing list for Grant Thornton (mention your budget size, and they won’t bother you).