Consortium: a people centric strategy for the post-Covid economy

When leaders are keen on achievement and people centric principles, shareholders are going to be more tolerant of some adjustments in revenue, allowing leaders to retool corporations in order to bring in new revenue streams, says Terry Earthwind Nichols

The world shut down. Lockdowns began to trigger businesses, and they reacted to this crisis in various ways:

  • Closed the doors of various locations until the pandemic subsided.
  • Sent mission critical people home with computers to keep the basic business running.
  • Analysed what locations were low or not profitable and closed them permanently.
  • Paid salaries for the first 30-days and waited to see what happened; while letting go of hourly staff, thus allowing them to file for unemployment until hired again.
  • Had leadership discuss what state and federal aid could be acquired right away and when to apply.

Does this all sound familiar?  

I’ve been on both sides of this scenario.

Downturns in business

As business owners and corporate leaders, we invest in massive amounts of time, energy, and resources (usually money). We are taught that when a down-turn occurs, the first thing to think about is cutting costs and maximising profits at the expense of labor and assets. All the time, energy, and resources of developing talent in our people over the years is in fact expendable in our minds.

We downsize our employee load. Temporary labor companies are called, as they can provide quick labor with controlled expense. Because temporary labor is expensed to another budget line, this makes the overall budget look better and protects more of the leadership’s bonus pool.

When Wall Street or some government agency declares the crisis over and business heads back to normal or to previous levels of revenues, the headaches of finding talent lost to other companies begins. Some of the available talent started their own firms and will not be returning to the workforce. Along with talent shortages, the company faces lack of products from their suppliers who went out of business and closed for good. 

The supply chain guru in your company, who you downsized, now owns their own company and is sourcing products for your competitors. They are now selling that service to the highest bidder and keeping that profit for themselves. What they used to cost you in salary, benefits, and taxes is far less than you will be spending in the future. 

Another sleepless night is spent figuring out how to get back up and running once again.

Slowly and over time you are able to replace lost labor, goods, and services. The company is again profitable, until the next emergency happens. You analyse what all happened and what adjustments to operating procedures you can implement next time.

We can all agree that this business model has long been outdated. We are ready for something new. Let’s take a look at what that could look like and how easy it works. The first thing we can look at is human nature and the concept of achievement.

Achievement

Let’s take a look at human nature and what drives it. Think for a moment: When was the last time you achieved something you were proud of? How did you feel at the time of the achievement? Did anyone that you looked up to acknowledge that achievement? How did that feel? When we achieve something we are elated, self-confident, and motivated to do it again. 

I love being an achiever! Here are some of the things I have learned over the years as a company leader in various levels of corporations.

Achievers don’t get sick – don’t burn-out – and they don’t leave the company.

Achievers also don’t complain, and are a motivator for others to become achievers.

Therefore, employee related expenses are reduced.

Think of a time when you hated your job and/or the people around you and what that did to both your emotional and physical abilities. In my life, the result was me leaving the company and the stability it provided. Other times, I ended up getting fired. 

Science has proven that when a person is happy and engaged in positive, reinforcing work… they are healthier, get plenty of sleep, eat healthier, and contribute to the world around them. 

Achievers tend to be proactive in what’s going on around them. Therefore, they are far more likely to submit suggestions to make their area of the company more efficient. This saves the company operating expenses and can create new revenue streams. This can also increase production, while driving down the cost of goods.

Achievers can’t wait to get to work each day, and many works on efficiencies at home when the family is asleep. These people know that they are valued and are helping the company succeed. They dream of promotions and new opportunities within the company, and in no manner want to leave. They feel respected and are respectful. 

Less or no sick days are taken, which lowers healthcare premiums. Loss of production due to employee absenteeism is reduced. Employee related insurance costs go down.

Who are we?

The Consortium is a group made up of enterprise level specialists that work together to achieving a common objective. The base team is made of three to five lead consultants depending on the industry of the client and their identified needs at the beginning of the contract. Consortium will also bring specialists in various job specific functions as needed through the course of the contract – mergers and acquisitions, corporate communications or possibly diversity and inclusion as three such functions.

What we stop first

  • Unit/division closures
  • Lay-offs
  • Early retirements
  • Project freezes/closings
  • Non-essential staff cuts

What we start first

  • Creation of a specific corporation-wide ‘Vision’ based on people and their ability to achieve – departments/divisions/subsidiaries will create their own visions that support the corporate vision
  • We analyse how many of the chief executives are suffering from Imposter Syndrome, along with their families, and schedule confidential consultations
  • Analyse what new revenue streams can be created immediately all the way down to the smallest unit
  • Get a ‘vision and everyone has a job’ message out from the Chairman and the Chief Officers together as one showing ‘we’re excited and you will be too’ as the message of hope and the message to the shareholders and stakeholders of the vision of XYZ Corporation is solid and shared with everyone in the company
  • The Consortium leads meet with each of their counterparts to get the vision out as above using existing departments’ involvement from day one
  • Meetings throughout the corporation with a focus on new revenue generation at every level, for example a grocery store bank branch office with five employees meeting together to create new opportunities – not close their branch.

Vision

Consortium is the new people centric, vision-based business model that is driven by achievement. It’s an evolutionary business model because it will take businesses across the world into the 21st century. 

The ‘Vision’ is the first thing you think and the last thing you think about every day.

  • This is where timelines, sales goals, and quotas are no longer used.
  • What is created is a vision for the future. A vision is where we, as business owners, want to be when we reach the top of the mountain. When we look at the horizon, it’s not easy to see the whole road that will get us there. This is why we follow the Vision Strategy Roadmap, with various achievable stops along the way.

In my experience I accomplished more faster by having a vision that made me unstoppable, than I ever did having a time-based goal hanging over my head. 

Creating Achievers

How do we create achievers and what does that have to do with a new model? Consortium is a new model based on setting a vision for the future that is not goals or timeline oriented, and is driven by employees who are engaged in achieving milestones or stops along the way to get to that vision. 

When leaders are keen on achievement and people centric principles, shareholders are going to be more tolerant of some adjustments in revenue, while you retool your corporation to bring in new revenue streams. 

Terry Earthwind Nichols is a strategist for people who are looking for ‘achievement based’ vs. ‘goals based’ strategies for their business. Terry is an award-winning profiler from his Naval recruiting days and the father of Repetitive Behavior Cellular Regression®.

Terry is a Service-Connected US Navy veteran. He is an ambassador for the United Nations as well as refugees with the United Refugee Green Council. He is also the Co-founder (along with his wife Linda Vettrus-Nichols) and Chairman of Evolutionary Healer, a global transformational performance improvement company. 

This article is excerpted from the new book, Winning the War for Talent in the 2020’s, 11 Insights from the Global Institute for Thought Leadership.   

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