Innovating During a Recession

One question to ask: What should your organization stop doing?

Looking for ideas about how to help your organization thrive during the downturn? Andrew Razeghi, a lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, has posted a thoughtful essay on innovating in a recession.  Razeghi combines useful tips with examples of companies that prospered during past downturns, including the Great Depression.

Readers of management thinker Jim Collins are probably familiar with the idea of having not just a to-do list but also a "stop doing list" that helps you free up time and energy to focus on your priorities -- an idea Collins mentioned in his best-selling book Good to Great.

One of the ideas Razeghi suggests in his essay is an interesting variation on a stop doing list: Hold a "stop doing contest" for your organization, inviting employees and vendors to submit ideas about how to save your organization money by making process improvements or reducing expenses,  without cutting jobs.  "Lean on them -- your vendors and your employees -- to help you not only survive, but to thrive during these times," writes Razeghi.  It's an interesting application of the "stop doing" concept -- to gain new ideas for operational efficiencies.

Here's Razeghi's essay: