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Recession-Proof Yourself & your Organization June 2, 2008

Trying to survive a recession? Make yourself indispensible. That’s it. And this applies to both the individual and to the organization itself.

For the individual, a recession means cut-backs. Organizations need to trim overheads in order to remain profitable with smaller volumes. So they reduce expenditure - and one area for reducing expenditure is the payroll. The first to go are those people with an unfavorable payroll-cost to work-product benefit ratio. The solution is to be pro-active – change the ratio – make yourself indispensible to the organization by increasing your productivity and output at no additional cost to the organization. Become versatile - acquire new skills and improve your existing skills – empower yourself to adapt to new challenges and additional responsibilities. No organization off-loads valuable employees when the value of the worker outweighs the savings in payroll-cost.

To achieve this, learn to read faster and more efficiently. It will save you time and increase your productivity. By increasing productivity, you’ll get more done in less time. With time saved, you’ll be able to increase your work-load. Think about it – how much time do you spend each day on work-related reading? Two hours? Well, if you simply double your reading / comprehension speed, you’ll have an additional hour a day, 5 hours a week, to do additional things – acquire new skills, pick up additional responsibilities, offer assistance to someone else. You’ll be delivering work-product at a lower rate per Dollar than your competitors and this increases your value to your organization.

For organizations, a recession means budget-cuts and your customers start shopping around, looking for the best service and quality but at a cheaper price. Customer-loyalty is superseded by the need for Dollar-savings. To stay in the market, organizations need to reduce overheads while increasing work-product. Some organizations resort to expenditure cut-backs - expenditure on payroll, capital investment, marketing, promotional and training activities. Others endeavor to increase work-product, customer service and quality of output.

In most organizations, the payroll is the biggest single overhead – the process of buying human work-product at a Dollar-cost per hour. It’s been said that the only cost that exceeds the cost of training your work-force is the cost of not training your work-force. A better-skilled, versatile, more-productive work-force is able to deliver better and more work-product, in less time and at a lower cost per hour. Train your work-force in their weakest skill – that of reading. Think about it - reading education stops at age 6 and yet reading is the key to knowledge and information.

And here are some numbers : 10 managers costing you $100k each in salary, benefits and overheads and working a 40-hr week with 2 weeks annual leave and spending 2 hours a day on work-related reading – email, newspapers, reports, journals, manuals, correspondence. That’s a cost to you of $50 per work-hour. And a cost to you of $100 per day, per manager, in reading time. If these 10 managers learn to process information just twice as fast, a very conservative increase, they’ll free up an hour of reading time every day – that’s 10 hours per day, 2500 hours per year – a savings of $125k in reading-time-cost in the first year alone. And the cost to train these 10 managers to read at least twice as fast, without losing comprehension & recall? $3000!

Do the math. In a time of recession, effective and productive information management training for your work-force is a no-brainer.

We’ve witnessed the trends, worldwide, for the past 30 years. As economies head into a recession phase, smart people and smart companies commission speed-reading training courses to increase productivity and to reduce the hourly cost of work-product. Similarly, as the economy enters a revival, speed-reading training enables workers to manage increased work-loads and activity-levels, thus increasing work-product at the same hourly cost to the organization.

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