Reductionist Thinking?

I recently learned that two of my clients are stopping all capital expenditure (capex) in the new financial year. Others are halting their graduate recruitment initiatives, or simply doing nothing differently, hoping this is all a figment of President Obama’s imagination.

Somewhere, somehow, these fine people have been deceived! They have compromised the core, based on hearsay or the “wisdom” of influential others. Way back in 1994, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras wrote “Built to Last” (an unfortunate title, as nothing truly is) and concluded, amongst other gems, that we should “preserve the core AND stimulate progress,” if we are to ensure sustainability.

Many have lost the will to envision their future, to stimulate progress. Surely cost-cutting must not override innovation or the seizing of opportunity? I cannot see how anything other than stagnation, loss of market-share and reduced credibility could result. And that’s not to mention the effect on employee engagement, morale and customer service!

This is the moment to seize the day! Ascertain where “gaps” exist in the market and fill them. Find creative solutions to problems others are ignoring. Offer service to those who are being neglected. if one door shuts, knock on another. This is the time to work harder at marketing, to base your business on turnover instead of big deals, perhaps. To collaborate more, learn more, consult more. And as you do, be flexible, as each client has unique needs and concerns, and is probably tired of “boxed”, “generic” products.

We all need to make a living. Let’s make sure we do so by adding profound value to those who need it, keeping innovation and growth as a counter-balance to preserving our core.

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