Fix the problem; grab economic opportunities
By Gregory Hale, InTech, Editor
Quick, don’t blink. The economy is changing again. Another day, another new crisis. Won’t it all end so we can keep moving forward?
It is so easy to jump on the bandwagon of gloom and doom. Let’s face it, you lose 75,000 U.S. jobs in one day, it is easy to play Eeyore and find the negative about anything.
The most recent reductions involved companies that were supposed to be bullet proof: Home Depot, Caterpillar, Sprint Nextel, and Microsoft. All strong companies, but all needed to cut workers loose to keep themselves viable this year. Even a $68 billion mega merger like Pfizer and Wyeth will lead to just over 16,000 job losses.
President Barack Obama cited all the layoff announcements in urging Congress to approve an $825 billion economic stimulus package of tax cuts, emergency benefits, and public spending projects.
The downturn is obviously not just a U.S. dilemma. In one poll, German business sentiment posted a surprise rise last month. Respondents were optimistic about their economy. Around the same time the German government approved an economic stimulus package of $66.8 billion (e50 billion) to boost its economy.
Japan got into the act by extending aid to small companies in that country. The U.K. was looking to further aid industry with a package for automakers; Russia is preparing more support for banks. Canada, China, India … name one country that is not in the same boat.
If you listen to some of the “experts,” there have been estimates the economic downturn could take upwards of two years to get through. Maybe it will, or maybe it will take another few months. No one really knows because right now we are in uncharted waters, but instead of sitting around and fretting about it, how about taking care of what you can control.
In this environment, it is easy to simply think about yourself. It is imperative to think about your team. Is everyone on your team thinking along the same lines? Or does it seem like it is everyone for themselves? If that is the case, you are in trouble.
The days of singularity are long gone, and whether they like it or not, people cannot just think of themselves and their own area, they have to think big picture—for the greater good of the entire organization.
It is also time to show entrepreneurial spirit. That does not necessarily mean everyone should go out and create his or her own business (although some should). But take a look at what your competitors are doing. Surely they are looking to grow their existing big business. So, that could mean there is an opportunity for you and your team to find a specific niche your competitors are leaving open. In this case, if you think small, you can gain big time. Think about how you can add value with your existing customers. Offer them something they cannot get elsewhere.
Eeyore could find the grayest cloud on a bright sunny day. Do not be a part of the problem. Be a part of the solution.
Talk to me: firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 990-9275.