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Managing in a Recession

The global recession has caught almost everyone unawares, causing havoc. From corporate czars and head honchos to the regular man on the street, from New York and London to New Delhi and Beijing, the classes as well as the masses have been affected by the tornado of financial turmoil that has ripped through the financial system of the world, leaving many companies shipwrecked and having ruined many a fortune in its dread wake. There are quite a few companies that have collapsed and gone under. For companies that are still existing, managing the recession is not just important but absolutely imperative for their survival.

It is sometimes said that adversity brings with it the desire and the will power to fight against situations and ordeals that can be quite daunting. As far as corporate entities go, a recession is the right time to do a course evaluation and correction. Sometimes, changes in strategy, like changes in the realm of production, new product innovation or marketing can do wonders for business prospects and outlook. When the downturn is on, it provides an opportunity to have reviews and re-look at the strategy, get your people into a huddle and try to find out new and different ways of doing things. There have been innumerable examples in history where companies that tweaked their perspective and processes during a recession came out stronger and more resilient in the fight against obsolescence.

People are the prime movers in any company. When there is recession, many employees are on bench or perhaps have lesser work load due to fewer orders. Training and ‘sharpening the saw’ during the downturn could be an effective strategy to ensure that your employees are well equipped to take on responsibilities and perhaps even come up with solutions to beat the recession. At the same time, it is imperative to have a fair and robust performance management system in place, so that non-performers are weeded out to ensure that the organization does not carry any deadwood that may come in the way of business excellence.

A recession is also a good time to scan the environment for opportunities that may come up. Sometimes, when the going is good, companies could be too engrossed and entrenched in their comfort zone as the orders are many and demand has to be met. It is only when the recession strikes that companies look around and try to create demand for products and services that had been neglected earlier.

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