How the COVID-19 crisis can create a leap forward towards a new era for company owners and senior executives
There are plenty of interpretations, meanings and predictions about the coronavirus, and only the future will tell which are true. But there is definitely a connection between the current crisis and commercial efficiency, creativity and agility in organizations – today, more than ever.
It’s clear to me, beyond a doubt, that we’ll reach a new and different era in many respects, and those who are able to apply what’s written in this article will increase their chances of growth and of breaking out of this crisis, because unfortunately not every company will be around for “the day after.”
During 20 years of senior management in high-tech – as VP and CEO of leading global companies, and SMB’s companies in Israel, including an exit for a company I founded – my passion has always been to see as far as possible ahead (a year, a year and a half, and even more) and to take responsibility for the bottom line – Sales.
Today, in order to do this, there are a variety of commercial specializations that are usually reserved mainly for large organizations, or those with the financial capacity to hold the following positions – usually at the VP or senior management level: Strategy, Business Development, Marketing, Digital Marketing, and Sales.
What I realized in 2007 with great clarity is this: There is an inefficiency in the concept of 0 or 1, i.e. the hiring or non-hiring of employees in these fields, in particular of senior employees, and alternatively, dismissing them. In times of crisis, a company often needs to dismiss these employees, which can lead to efficiency, but on the other hand, it can also send shockwaves across the company.
Commercial Management – especially Business Development and Sales – is the company’s critical path and its oxygen and has a very large impact on the company’s success or failure. On the other hand, costs of hiring full-time commercial executives are high.
In medium and small organizations, the dilemma is greater, since they cannot afford to hold so many positions – and perhaps not even one senior commercial position! The CEO also finds himself/herself playing this role, in addition to general management, which is very challenging to say the least – if at all possible.
Crises rise and fall – in small waves and big waves, over short and long periods – and today there is uncertainty as no-one knows when the pandemic will be over. Some customers leave and some “sit on the fence” and wait.
Quite a few organizations have long understood that it makes sense to employ part-time experts such as lawyers, accountants, bookkeepers, and designers.
On the other hand, it is uncommon to employ part-time experts in the areas of Business Development, Sales and Marketing at a senior management level. Experts of this type can give more for less – and it is here that less is more.
Between 0 and 1 there are many smaller proportions – i.e. 15%, 20% and on this axis there are many options for another senior management part-time position.
I have worked on this part-time model for many years alongside company owners, CEOs or VPs who wouldn’t have been able to recruit another senior commercial manager but could definitely recruit me as a part-time specialist – with high efficiency and with the ability to make a long-term contribution.
And why? Because there is no corporate politics, no coffee breaks or dead time, no unrelated, unfocused tasks, no vacations and illnesses, no employer costs, no need for a dedicated office or secretary, no car and not much else.
So what is there?
There is purely effective work – for very targeted and time-defined tasks.
What someone with so many years of experience in such a variety of processes can bring, is the equivalent of much more than their job percentage! Because the amount of organizations they have seen, the challenges they have faced and the efficiency with which they have worked, means that they always strive as quickly as possible to achieve results and goals.
Today – more than ever – this kind of experience is invaluable, because creativity and “out-of-the-box” thinking is critical – which will make or break the organization.
Experts can increase or decrease the number of hours over time in a relatively flexible way, and they know how to be independent in leading processes. Those who have grown in organizations and function as self-employed people understand organizations; they are creative, have mental strength, determination, and work fast with clear deliverables. The “magnifying glass” in which they are measured is much shorter than that of salaried employees who have a longer learning curve and grace period.
I am not claiming that senior employees are not needed … absolutely not!!!
My message is that an organization can also think of a part-time position as an addition to a senior employee – to get the most accurate resources for their activities, to define the right lean, agile and efficient framework, that can respond quickly to changing situations.
In a large organization this is a very significant addition to a senior employee – which can make a huge difference in terms of results. All the more so in a small or medium-sized organization that can’t afford paying such high salaries for senior employees. This is a great part-time – or “outsourcing” solution – that can even lead an entire commercial field for the organization, such as business development for a product, country or territory.
In the current difficult period we’re in and in the near future, when companies and organizations are going through the COVID-19 crisis, along with freezing activities, unpaid leave and layoffs – I am convinced that the above employment model will gain momentum, and as usual, the early adopters who will be able to internalize that something has changed from now on – will be those who will survive and grow faster than the crisis, with a lean and agile management structure.
There are some organizations that won’t reach the “day after”.
At such a time it is wrong to completely shut down if it isn’t completely necessary. It’s precisely into this gap that part-time experts can enter. They can maintain what has been achieved so far, and enter this position in a quiet period, understand when there is a trend and immediately respond to identify opportunities and lead the company to growth, and be one of the first to do so. Such experts are like the organization’s “commando fighters” who can help the company reach unusually high levels of success. Every organization must have one or more of these.
These are the people who can make the organization thrive and grow rather than going out of business. The cost of errors is critical – today more than ever!
Do you have questions and insights about this article? Interested in understanding more about this method of employment? Are you at a “crossroads” in your business?
If so, call to – 0528-528-582 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The writer is Eran Eizik, owner of “Oryan” – specializing in strategy, business development, marketing and strategic sales for international organizations since 2007. www.oryanbd.co.il
Another article will be posted soon, describing additional important aspects so if you’re interested in hearing more, please leave your details and we’ll update you.