If you are introducing cost-cutting in your innovation agenda, your ultimate drive is to create a cost culture that sustains itself over time and is not forgotten three months after being announced by the leadership.
Your final goal is that your workforce feels that the organisation’s investments are personal investments, which can benefit all.
Still, organisations are living creatures in changing contexts. So, strategic cost-reduction priorities should be regularly reviewed and updated in the same way as business opportunities are.
And so we find ourselves where we started: needing to map out intervention areas at micro and macro level, both good and bad costs, and clearly define and (re)align everyone with your cost strategy over time. Ensure that you have the best methods in place to address each area in an efficient way, using top-down yet privileging bottom-up approaches in your innovation agenda.
For bottom-up approaches, also review the communication plan at hand to help your employees understand the tweaks and turns. Let them have an active role in the process of building the company’s future together.
It will take time and some effort, since resistance is normal under less favourable circumstances. It will take people’s commitment.
Yet, with strong leadership, a clear and well-defined strategic cost-cutting programme and the awareness of shared responsibilities, an organisation can reinvent itself and learn how to do so continuously, as models are challenged and new opportunities arise.