Seizing the upside in the downturn


The video is by Professor Donald Sull of The London Business School and speaks to seizing advantage by Managing in the Downturn.

There is a related article at the FT, which opens with:-

In a downturn, most managers fixate on the abundant bad news: demand is down, prices are falling, credit is scarce, and lay-offs are likely. Obsessing over threats obscures a surprising but crucial truth about downturns: the worst of times for the economy as a whole can be the best of times for individual firms to create value for the long term.

In past downturns, some companies, including Toyota, Nokia, Cisco, Samsung and Emirates, emerged from an economic crisis stronger than before. Like the mythological Libyan wrestler Antaeus who regained strength when thrown to the ground, these companies derived strength from economic hard times. Many of their competitors,in contrast, languished or failed. Part of the difference is down to having managers who understand how to create value during a downturn, as well as their effectiveness in acting on these insights.

Personally I find Professor Sull talks and writes a lot of sense. The video and related article are well worth consideration in my view.

Rather than treat where we are at as a disaster Sull focuses on 4 key areas of importance:-

  1. Instil ongoing cost discipline
  2. Force hard choices
  3. Accelerate fundamental changes
  4. Seize golden opportunities
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