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The Upside of the Downturn

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The Upside of the Downturn

Ten Management Strategies to Prevail in the Recession and Thrive in the Aftermath


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Competition, stress and hard times can bring out the best in people and in businesses, too.

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The 2008 recession and its lingering aftermath have undoubtedly transformed the global economy. All aspects of business have changed, including consumer attitudes, competition, employee relations, the role of government, and customers’ saving and spending behaviors. Yet with all these shifts, few companies have consciously adapted to new business realities. Business journalist Geoff Colvin believes that the recession presents some intrepid managers with a rare opportunity to reinvent themselves and their businesses. He proposes 10 strategies that firms of all sizes can use to compete in the post-recession world. Unfortunately, some of his role models for those strategies haven’t held up as well as he anticipated – his book appeared in mid-2009, before all the dust of the financial crisis had settled. Nonetheless, getAbstract recommends his 10 sensible prescriptions to leaders who want a makeover for themselves and their enterprises.


Great Challenges – and Opportunities – Ahead

The 2008 recession, the longest since the Great Depression, has given managers worldwide many chances to demonstrate their capabilities. But, due to inertia and recession-related troubles, too many company leaders fail to recognize and act on this opportunity. They don’t see that every crisis eventually ends and that, when it does, they must be ready to react and succeed in a new environment.

Recessions allow new leaders to emerge and make them acquire fresh skills. Tough times teach hard lessons and force people to face rare, novel situations. Leadership traits are learned and not innate. If push yourself into unfamiliar areas, you will learn to become a stronger manager and a more resilient leader. You can’t take advantage of the opportunities the economic downturn offers unless you recognize what changes are afoot.

Companies can use 10 strategies to make the most of bad times:

1. “Reset Priorities”

Facing facts about what’s changed in your business, your industry and your environment is the first step toward assessing your new priorities. Many firms avoid the reality of what’s happening right in front...

About the Author

Geoff Colvin is Fortune’s senior editor at large, and he writes its popular column, Value Driven. He is the author of the bestseller Talent Is Overrated.

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