I’m always surprised when people suggest that cost cutting measures mean an organisation is getting desperate.
The Telegraph article reports the following:
- That “staff should print black and white and on double sided paper”. We’ve been doing that for ages already here at my bank, and it makes both business and environmental sense. Most of the prints people do are wasted anyway. And if you want colour, what’s wrong with taking your laptop along to the meeting and using a projector?
- That staff should recruit using “low and no-fee sources such as job boards and employee referrals”. Again, such sensible advice. My own experience is that most candidates look for jobs online now anyway. And recruitment firms are almost always less effective than activating a personal network to get the person you need. I have not hired anyone outside my network for about three years, and don’t intend to start.
Matt finishes off his post by asking “any more ridiculous/desperate money saving schemes?”
As an innovator, I have to tell you, Matt, that finding small savings, and doing it often enough can mount up to some pretty big numbers. The fact of the matter is that my innovation function spends most of its time doing that. Small savings pay the bills. And they are predictable.
Unlike big strategic plays, which you can only afford after the bills are paid.
I don’t find any of the measures suggested by Citi to be ridiculous in the least. Neither are they desperate.
I think what most people don’t necessarily reflect on is that cost cutting is a very important part of the business cycle. When you are building, building, building, you often ignore minor costs because they are distracting to the main strategic goal.
Sooner or later though, managers have time to turn their attention to tuning what they’ve build. They try to optimise (which is what cost cutting really is), so as to make their organisations more efficient.
Naturally, though, reporting that employees have to give up colour printing and soap in their cafeterias is great, interesting reading.
However, my bet is that most people can see through to what is really going on. Cost cutting is nothing sinister. Banks spend their whole lives doing it, in good times and bad, and it is sensible business practice.