In a challenging economy every business, organization and government agency has to focus on fundamentals in order to survive. This in not the time to start unproven programs or take unneccessary risks. An organization should look at their essential mission statement and question everything that does not contribute directly to the mission.

For example the mission of a pizza restaurant is to provide quality pizza at a fair price. Peripherals such as delivery, salads, desserts, to-go orders, lasagne and staff uniforms may not directly benefit the bottom line. Usually some do and some don’t and business managers have to examine what is working.

For a nonprofit organization every program, staff role and expense needs to directly support the mission of the organization. Similarly government agencies should examine whether programs are effectively providing services to the taxpayer. Sometimes programs should be run by the private sector under a contractural arrangement.

We all owe it to our boards of directors, constituents and investors to thoroughly examine our operations and ensure efficiency at all levels.

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