Inflation: Approaches, Strategies And Readings For CEOs

We rounded up some resources in the hope of helping you attack the problem.

Inflation. What was supposed to be transitory does not appear to be transitory. Skyrocketing labor costs will almost certainly insure that’s the case. So will it come down in 2022? Will supply chains unsnarl? Will the Fed act too slowly? Has it already?

While we all wait for answers, it’s good to once again think through how to cope with this current moment, which we haven’t seen in decades. We rounded up some resources for you, in the hope of helping you attack the problem:

  • Costs. Controlling what we spend, is, of course, a really big part of the plan. There’s a good, brief rundown of how to think this through in this environment over at HBR, which I’m happy to share here.
  • Pricing. The other big one—the most underutilized one by many sales forces—is pricing. We had a great session in December with Brad Soper, a partner in Simon-Kucher & Partners, to help get your teams (and yourself) to be far smarter on pricing. This is not a nice to have—it’s a must, and Soper has lots of smart tips for making it happen.
  • Negotiation. We also had a tremendous session at our Leadership Summit with Victoria Medvec, an impresario of high-stakes negotiations and a management professor at Northwestern University. She shared four big traps that senior leaders should avoid. “People who negotiate all the time run into these traps specifically because they do [negotiations] all the time,” she said.
  • Compensation & Labor Costs. At our sister site StrategicCHRO360, Dale Buss talked with a dozen CEOs, CHROs and other top execs to learn more about how they’re tailoring compensation strategies and practices for 2022.
  • Supply Chain. One of our favorite professors, MIT’s Jonathan Byrnes, lays out ways your CFO can become a more powerful force for managing your supply chain disruptions. “Astute CFOs have an historic opportunity to make a massive impact on their companies’ profitability for years,” he writes. “However, first-mover advantages are critical, and the time to act is now, when your customers and suppliers urgently need lasting solutions.”
Dan Bigman is Editor and Chief Content Officer of Chief Executive Group, publishers of Chief Executive, Corporate Board Member, ChiefExecutive.net, Boardmember.com and StrategicCFO360. Previously he was Managing Editor at Forbes and the founding business editor of NYTimes.com.