24 November 2008

It's the economy stupid!

Many CEOs and founders have been focused on the current economic downturn. Some take knee-jerk actions to cut expenses (and layoff employees), some clamp down on all activities, and some ignore reality hoping it will change. Not being old enough to have lived through the Great Depression, except through tales that I've heard, the only analogy I have is the economic aftermath of 9/11. At that time, I was running Transcentive, a stock plan administration software company. And, as you might imagine, stock options and enterprise software were not the top priority on everyone's list as we all struggled to understand the new reality that an attack on our homeland and the ensuing stock market crash and economic turmoil caused.

I've searched for some guidance during this unique patch of our economic history. One of the best, is an article found on CNN Money's web site by Ram Charan, a writer and management guru entitled:

Managing your business in a downturn

As the optimistic entrepreneur that I am, I like to view turmoil as a friend. Turmoil and uncertainty typically are great times to topple the status quo, to empower new market leadership, and to cause customers to look for new solutions.

Ram's article was written with this particular downturn in mind, but I see it as a handy reminder to refer to any time the macro economic conditions turn abruptly south.