How to Successfully Manage a Business in an Inflationary Time

Close to 50 years ago, GE hired young Professor Ram Charan and a small team of other experts to create and deliver a training course for GE managers. The topic was difficult to talk about, but it was necessary. The subject was running a gainful, growing business during a period of substantial inflation. Recently Chief Executive magazine asked Charan to update the playbook, and they published it in their March 9, 2022, executive briefing. The whole 42+ pages of the playbook can be found here, but to save you some time, I prepared this summary that highlights what I consider the most critical takeaways in Charan’s articles. However, I strongly recommend that you read the complete document and then share it with your co-workers and discuss the key actions you should take to position yourself for the long term. The Current Situation Prices are being raised in all sectors or, as an alternative, B2C businesses are reducing the amount of product in a package to keep the same price and maintain their margins. For example, when I first heard this, I was mildly shocked: Dunkin’ Donuts stores recently stopped putting a thin slice of lemon in their iced tea drink. 

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