Is It Time To Prepare For The Upturn?

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Recession is as certain as death and taxes (I wish taxis were as certain on a cold winter’s night at 3am!). And guess what – so is the upturn. But who is talking about it yet?

Good News people: according to McKinsey’s Quarterly Survey , we are getting close to the bottom of the trough we call recession (although European business leaders say that there is still a longer, bumpier road ahead).

The cycle of boom and bust (which nobody can really stop) will turn full circle and the upturn will be upon us.

There is light at the end of the tunnel…?

But are we looking in that direction yet? My personal experience is No We Are Not .  We are not looking towards recovery.

The current battle with keeping business going is consuming all the energy, all the air-time, and all the focus of management, at least in my industry (Financial Services). I am still seeing cycles of re-plan after re-plan to cope with declining budgets and lackluster sales. Do me and my colleagues see the light yet? No.

Get this though – just because I don’t see the light yet, I know it’s coming.

Not preparing for the upturn will mean that we will be caught with our pants down when it comes… whilst our competitors are running ahead in their jockstraps!

Here’s the rub. Even talk about this evokes comments from blinkered colleagues on the lines of ‘Fiddling Whilst Rome is Burning’.

It could be political suicide to try to initiate new projects with the blind assumption that the upswing will be soon upon us. It takes someone with tremendous courage, political leverage and credibility to sponsor these projects, which will almost certainly disrupt current projects that are aimed at stabilizing core business. Is that you?

This is a major stifler of innovation. The fresh business ideas that would normally emerge in boom-times are being quashed. Growth opportunities are being put on the back-burner. When recovery does start, we’ll all be so beat and scared, we won’t be ready to begin that journey!

Hey, what about our people? The most worrying thing about not preparing for the upturn NOW is what our people will do when it starts. Will they want to stay in an organization still inward looking at the balance sheet, or a competitor that is going places with exciting new products and services? This is a Real Danger which we cannot ignore! I doubt we’ll even have cash to offer as a retention incentive. Our people will be GONE!

I wonder, who is going to be brave and put the first foot forwards into the future?

If you don’t believe in the phrase ‘Fortune Favors the Brave!’  – well, there are a few things we can do now to begin preparing for the upturn, without embarking on taboo projects or appearing to meddle whilst Rome is in flames.

Later this week I will be publishing a follow-up post which shares ‘5 Immediate Actions To Begin Preparing For The Upturn, Without Being Found Out ‘. You’ll know when it’s published if you subscribe to my RSS Feed .

Check This Out…

Here is a great clip from the Jeff & Mike radio talk show on the subject of the upturn.

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