The crisis we are living through may feel like a recession, but it is something fundamentally different, something that needs to be handled in a completely different way. The recession playbook – tighten up, hunker down and wait for the recovery – will not work.
This crisis is not a recession but a reconfiguration; a once-in-a-lifetime event of discontinuous change. The stakes are raised. Imagine where you will be, say, in October 2022. You may be exhausted and weakened, permanently diminished, or heading out of business. Or, you will be looking back at this period and reflecting that, for all the chaos, this crisis was the best thing that could have happened.
It blew everything apart, opening paths that would otherwise have remained closed. It accelerated trends to your advantage. It created new urgent needs for you to satisfy. Very unlikely that you will be looking back from a position similar to where you were pre-crisis, congratulating yourself on getting back to normal. Back to normal isn’t going to happen.
What You Need To Do
The recession playbook won’t work. You need to:
- Start thinking like a startup again;
- Forget everything you think you knew;
- Be profoundly wary of specialist advice;
- Distrust anything that looks like “industry best practice”;
- Seek help and guidance from people who know less about your business than you do.
Alastair Dryburgh is an expert in special circumstances; turnarounds, breakthroughs, breakouts, rethinks, reinventions. Anything but business as usual. He is the author of two books, Business Remastered, and Everything You Know About Business Is Wrong, and a former longstanding contributor to Management Today and Forbes.
One of his clients commented:
“We have the ability to look into our clients’ businesses and see things that they can’t because they are too close. It was amazing how an outsider was able to do the same for us, particularly an outsider who draws on multiple different sources. I have never met anyone like Alastair who can bring ideas from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and even management theory to bear productively on business issues.”