Face the Elevator Door

Change is the medium of opportunity. At Applied Materials, my team came up with a concept we called “facing the elevator door,” as a way of thinking about opportunity.

With shifting economic cycles, things happen that can help or hurt an organization. You need to prepare yourself to seize an opportunity (the elevator door opening) regardless of where your organization may be in its lifecycle or in implementing its strategic plan.

As a leader you need to be out front, thinking ahead of the game. By staying attuned to the macroeconomic forces that can impact your revenue, you’ll be ready to move when the momentum shifts, the door closes, and the elevator changes direction.

Investing in people and infrastructure is essential. When revenues are strong, control your spending and aim to build a cash reserve that can cover three to six months of operating costs. When the economic climate changes, causing a downturn in earned revenue or charitable contributions, your organization will be well-positioned to meet urgent or emerging needs. Cash is king. Raise it when you can; don’t wait until you need it. Always protect your downside.

  • Will you be ready the next time that opportunity strikes?
  • How can you prepare to “face the elevator door?”

To learn more about facing the elevator door, watch this short video.