Gene Babon's Reviews > The Upside of the Downturn: Ten Management Strategies to Prevail in the Recession and Thrive in the Aftermath

The Upside of the Downturn by Geoff Colvin
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Oct 21, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: strategy
Read in September, 2010

The Great Recession is rich with possibilities. Some businesses and people will emerge stronger and ahead of the game. Others will weaken and fade. Geoff Colvin shows you how and why.

As Senior Editor-at-Large for FORTUNE, Colvin has had a front row seat to this recession. As we come out of the downturn we are entering a "new normal." Life will be different moving forward and the first step is to reset priorities to help minimize stress. Stress hijack's the brain's ability to work. Overstressed decision makers are bad decision makers. So, reset priorities, both for you and for the people who are looking to you for guidance and direction.

Several counter-intuitive management strategies include the following:

~ A downturn is a great time to develop and train. Many people who perform information-based work will have to get dramatically better in order to be worth what they cost. Upgrading your skills will give you and your company a competitive advantage as the market improves.

~ Less enlightened firms slash research & development (R&D) which damages growth prospects when the economy picks up steam. How much are you personally spending on R&D during the downturn in order to prepare for growth opportunities right around the corner?

~ You are in the best position to raise prices (earn more money) if what you offer is both unique and necessary. Use the downturn to position your company, and yourself, according to this Pricing Power Matrix.

Colvin offers additional thoughts on operational discipline, changing customer values, green initiatives, and much more. These observations can best be summarized in one simple statement:

"Focus intensely on a few clear goals."

You can't hope for progress without being clear about the measurements that matter.

If you are looking for focus on improving individual performance, check out Colvin's five-star Talent is Overrated.
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