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5 disciplines to maintain for success in any economic environment

The CRO playbook for navigating a challenging economy

headshot photo of Doug Adamic

Doug Adamic


4 min read

4 min read

5 disciplines to maintain for success in any economic environment

The CRO playbook for navigating a challenging economy

Frame 48097874
Frame 48097874

The best leaders are always playing the long game.

Tough economic conditions challenge even the most seasoned business leaders, yet they also provide opportunities to improve your day-to-day operations and even elevate your market position for long-term success.

Leaders always need to think long-term because if one thing is constant, it’s change. In just the last few years, historically low interest rates, a global pandemic, war in Ukraine, and then surges in interest rates and inflation have had significant economic impacts.

A clear business mission and goals and, perhaps most critically, the discipline to ensure you stay the course, are essential. Exercising discipline can improve decision-making, enhance organizational flexibility, and empower teams to drive growth in new ways.

Here are five areas that business leaders should prioritize to better navigate any economic environment.


Financial discipline

Challenging economies give us a chance to assess how we are spending money and whether it is aligned with organizational goals. When things get tough, taking more fiscal responsibility is typically step one.

Advice: Every dollar matters, but we can’t save our way toward growth. We still have to spend strategically. Real-time visibility into spend and controlling expenses before they happen are critical to understanding growth. With more insights, you can understand where your money is going and better budget and forecast.


Human capital discipline

Your employees are your biggest asset. Ask how you are measuring performance, developing, and retaining those people, and whether you’re adequately scaling your workforce. Are you supporting them in the right ways? With the right tools? Can you access new talent pools?

Advice: This isn’t just about how many people you employ but about understanding the employee experience. Happy employees lead to happy customers. What are you doing to provide an empowering employee experience? Are your people trusted to make decisions? Can teams focus on their core tasks? Think about how you can help cut out the minutiae so they can focus on high-impact projects.


Strategic discipline

Ask yourself whether you are in the right gear at the right time. A strategy that prioritizes growth at all costs, for example, may not jibe with the current state of the world. Leaders must be able to think objectively about their strategies and course-correct as needed.

Advice: One area our customers are assessing is business travel. Will more on-site visits reduce customer churn? Are we getting the right ROI on our travel? How do we know? Business travel can be a real differentiator when done efficiently.

Listen: Redis CAO Angelina Hendraka shares how she makes more thoughtful spend decisions during tighter economic times 


Focus discipline

Have the courage to get rid of things that do not align with your key priorities. Eliminating non-core offerings can save costs, reduce complexity, and free up resources to invest in your primary areas of expertise or solve emerging market needs.

Advice: Even here at Brex, we’ve made difficult decisions to retire products that didn’t best serve our core customers. It doesn’t mean we can’t continue to innovate and make advancements. It means focusing on activities that serve our core customers more effectively.


Investment discipline

Where are you investing? What’s your ROI? Are those areas aligned with your company strategy? It’s important to know which investments are short-term vs. long-term, which have a direct impact on revenue growth, and how these investments are measured.

Advice: Marketing and sales budgets typically get cut in tough economies. But if your competitors are also slashing those same budgets, those investment areas could offer a higher return. Real-time budget visibility can help you reallocate funds quickly and give you a tremendous head start.

You can’t predict the future, but you can future-proof your business against the unpredictable. See for yourself how our global, unified spend platform helps the world’s leading enterprises exercise discipline in every economic climate.

About Doug

Doug Adamic is the Chief Revenue Officer at Brex leading the company’s revenue and growth strategy. Doug has extensive leadership experience serving scaled companies. He was most recently the Chief Revenue Officer at SAP Concur and previously served as their General Manager of Enterprise Americas Distribution, where he oversaw the North America team.


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