Whew! The recession is over. Well, that’s a relief
Or so said the Commerce Department. The 3.5% GDP growth in Q3 proves it. Right?
The announcement has been greeted with understandable and almost universal skepticism. It obviously comes as small comfort to the nearly one in ten unemployed Americans and their millions of underemployed brethren.
The problem is that the upheaval of the last year has shaken things up more than we can possibly foresee. The government steroid…er…I mean…stimulus…programs couldn’t help but stem the tide of economic decline temporarily.
I’ve done enough home improvement projects using duct tape to know that temporary fixes work…well sort of.
To call what we’re entering uncharted waters would be an understatement. I know this is true when I see the names of some of the leading new business books: There’s The Chaos Scenario by Bob Garfield (actually a great read) and Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change.
The point is that what has happened in the last year and a half has been more than “disruptive.” That buzzword of the early 2000s sounds somehow quaint today in light of the current situation.
I’m no economist, but at least some of the economic news I read, and more importantly the conversations I’ve had with business owners and CEOs, suggest one thing: That somewhere along the way roughly 25 – 30% of revenue, employee count and most other business measurables have been eliminated.
Not just “disrupted” but permanently destroyed. Disappeared.
It’s as though some cosmic macroeconomic samurai sword swept down and lopped off the top third of the economy.
Some companies are successfully navigating these dangerous waters, and thankfully, nearly all of our clients are among them. We’ve partnered with them to launch new brands and sub-brands, new products and services, while holding true to their core values, service commitments and brands.
That seems to be the formula. Hold to core values, and then become incredibly creative, nimble, resourceful, responsive and efficient.
Oh, and did I mention fast?
(C) 2009 David Heitman. All rights reserved.