Recessions change everything. So how are you surviving? According to the book, “The Upside of the Downturn” by Geoff Colvin, “…of those that entered [past] recessions as top performers, 47 % had fallen out of that group by the time the downturn ended…13% of the mediocre-or-worse performers climbed up to the top group.”
The book talks about how managers and employees have no experience in a recession like this. And, most people are not good crisis decision-makers. This recession is a crisis: it is deeper and wider than any expected or could predict. Many companies just won’t survive because of the inability to act — waiting for different results without changing a thing.
However, innovations do occur: Here is one that got my marketing senses buzzing. Television stations are now carrying obituaries in morning newscasts (for $100 a pop) and one billboard company is showing simple obituaries on an electronic board in Des Moines. Sound silly? Sound morbid? Sounds like innovation to me.
When the local newspaper in Saginaw, Michigan reduced issues to a few per week, the TV station stepped in and offered obituaries on air and then more information at www.ObitMichigan.com . Look for stations across the country to follow suit in the blink of an eye.
It’s this kind of thinking that bursts through the status quo. Extreme challenges can lead to extreme innovation. As Mr. Colvin found, “Good times are when you’ll experience your greatest success…bad times are your greatest opportunity.” But not with the same thinking and same actions. It is not business as usual.
Note: The idea for today’s blog came from one of my ‘pickets.’ A ‘picket’ is a lookout, a soldier watching for a surprise attack. Thanks PJ.