posted by: Jack Santos
A while back I started a thread to look at how to respond to the depression-based economy. In the intervening time I have had many discussions, and seen a lot of material with jump-start economic suggestions (mostly of the vein “now is the time to buy this product/service”).
I’ve also come to the conclusion that this isn’t rocket science, and that the simplest recommendations are often those that ring the truest.
We know, as CIOs, that we set the tone in an organization. Wear a monogrammed item, suddenly up pops monogrammed clothes on everyone. Send a strongly competitive, physical message, and watch the testosterone levels go up.
And there is only one thing more difficult than picking who has to be let go and can’t be part of the team – keeping the spirits of the folks left behind, the survivors, up and positive.
I also know, from experience, that it is times like these that tend to be the growth times, once you look back at them. Not economic growth (necessarily) but personal growth. Times of shared purpose, of camaraderie, of resetting your life’s priorities (work and home) to appreciate what is really important.
That’s why, of my top 3 things to do in a depression-based economy, my first inclination would be to repeat number 1 for all three slots. Your company expects no less. But, admittedly – it won’t pay the bills directly, so staying on top of numbers 2 and 3 is just as important
- Motivate Staff and Stay Positive.
- Find ways to cut the budget and save the company.
- Identify efforts that are keepers (make money/add value) and will accelerate the upturn.
It’s pretty damn simple.
A recent book I read studied the culture and language of the Pirahã natives in the Amazonian rain forest (Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes, by Daniel Everett). The tribe lives in the now, stays focused on what is important (food, relationships), has the stress of everyday survival, yet they suffer from very few of the maladies (cancer, psychological) that civilized folks do. Everett feels our culture can learn from them. It may be that their “be in the now” approach is how we deal with a significant economic discontinuity. That’s why it’s a simple 3 bullets…real, and now.