IStock_000006288619Medium Everyday it seems we hear more positive news that indicates we are emerging from the depths of this recession — everything from the green shoots of recovery to recent upward moves in the stock market. If your business or firm has weathered the storm, it is time to rebuild and refocus on the long-term once again.

I found this reviewing my notes from a talent / learning conference I attended back in 2008, but I thought it was right on point as a guide to “next steps” as we clear the debris from the recession’s storm. Here are the five keys to building and maintaining an enduring organization:

  1. Strategy: In these times of rapid change, you need a strategic plan that is capable of adapting to these changes and allowing you to make mid-course corrections. It needs to be constantly updated (at lease annually) and should form the basis for a strategic thinking system. (See our post on Insights to Action: strat planning that works.)
  2. Management: Execution of strategy is critical. Management must be capable of implementing key initiatives that are aligned with the organization’s strategy. They also must be able to function as a team based on a foundation of trust.
  3. Leadership: You can’t have good management without leadership. Are you building current and future leaders?
  4. Learning: Do you have a learning culture? Are you investing in your team’s capacity? Research shows that best-of-breed companies invest two to three times more than their peers in learning and development, and it shows in their growth. market share and profitability.
  5. Systems and processes that support and accelerate the business strategy.

I sum it up this way: In this rapidly changing environement, your organization needs to learn greater than the rate of change in your industry (L>C), and at a minimum, greater than your closest competitors. That learning needs to inform your strategy which in turn needs to be executed and implemented.

Need help with your strategic planning or building a leanring organziation? Check out our resources at

Which of these are you weak on? What should be your immediate focus as you come out of the recession?