Baseball season has started. There is always excitement in the air on opening day as each team begins their long 162 game season with the goal of making the playoffs in the fall, and eventually winning the World Series. The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, but this is the year that many believe the Cubs will break that long 107 year streak. At one point during that 1908 season, the powerful New York Giants had won eighteen of twenty-three and were getting ready to face the Cubs in a crucial three game series. Referring to this series in her book, Cait Murphy said, “As Christy Mathewson noted, many games have inflection points, or pinches, ‘on which hangs victory or defeat.’ Seasons have pinches, too. This series is one of them. If the Giants can sweep, they will almost double their lead over the Cubs-and inflict enormous psychological torment. If the Cubs do the sweeping, though, they will be right back in the thick of things(Murphy, p.139).”
Companies also have “inflection points” during the course of their lifetimes. How company leaders deal with each point has an enormous impact on the health of their company and its future growth and value. Each inflection point has its own set of unique circumstances; however, there are three fundamentals that will greatly aid a business in getting through these points with the least possible consequences.
- Cash Reserves– A company with cash reserves will have options regardless of the business climate. Leaders should be continually measuring, forecasting, and building a large cash reserve to prepare for the lean times that are surely coming their way.
- A Solid Team– When those crucial inflection points present themselves, a strong and solid team will be an invaluable source of strength and resolve. Leaders must have a goal to hire the very best, reward them handsomely, and treat their people with the Golden Rule principle.
- Have a Plan B– Always, always have a plan B or C to fall back on. In this business climate, things never go the way they are planned. Companies must build their strategy and forecast around different scenarios.
Prepare for the “inflection points” by building cash reserves, having a strong team, and being ready with a plan B if necessary.
*Murphy, Cait, (2007), Crazy ’08