"Reality dictates that business turnarounds require economic rebounds," says John Baldoni in a post at Harvard Business Online. "No leader can tweak his operation into success; you need customers to buy what you offer. But if you do not improve what you offer and how you offer it, you may miss the upswing."

He recommends you take actions like these to prime your organization for the coming recovery:

Dispense with the pomp and circumstance. "Reduce practices that 'feed the monster,'" he says, "that is, projects that inflate egos rather than earnings." Baldoni suggests, for instance, reconsidering the frequency of meetings, which are often held out of habit rather than necessity. "Let people do their work rather than prepare for meetings with senior staff."

Challenge your best and brightest to innovate. Make the most of uncertainty by staying creative; there's no time like the present to look for new ways to do things, and new ways to interact with vendors and customers.


Don't forget the silver lining. A down economy comes with pitfalls, but it also creates new opportunities. "Acknowledge the obstacles," he says, "but show people how to go around them or climb over them."

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