Monday, December 3, 2012

Managing Through Uncertain Times & Icebergs

This CEO Blogger has worked and survived through multiple Recessions, real estate crashes, high interest rates and generally bad times.   However, what we face today, particularly in the United States and Europe is uncertainty as a result of national debt, financial turmoil and the inability of politicians to deal with all of it.  2013 is a real question mark as a result of this uncertainty.   Various countries in Europe are already in Recession and it is likely to get worse.   The US is just staggering along, experiencing slow, or no growth and the potential for going back into Recession in 2013 is real.

Yet, as managers in business to provide goods or services, presumably profitably, we have to figure out what path to take in spite of the many factors we don't control.   So what's new, only now it is seemingly a bit worse?    If a long term strategic plan made sense before the economic uncertainty we face, it probably still makes sense; however, the only question is timing.   It is time to enter a new market, or business.   Does it make sense to invest in new technology and or people.   The watch word until the dust settles is probably caution.  This is certainly not a time to throw caution to the wind.  Instead, due diligence in decision making is even more important in bad times. 

It does not make sense to get too far ahead of markets for a new product or service in bad, or uncertain times.   In many ways, related to some businesses, in bad times, it is better to let those with deeper pockets be the trail blazer, presumably learning from their mistakes.   That may not be true related to technology where getting there first can often provide a commanding lead that is impossible for others to overtake later on. 

This CEO has always said that bad times are what make great managers.  It is easy to manage a business during good times when everyone is fat and happy.   Steering the ship during bad times to avoid the icebergs in the market place takes talent, experience, courage and the ability to make tough decisions.    There is no glory in being the captain of the Titanic, which was once the biggest passenger ship ever built.   One thing is for sure, this CEO Blogger never intends to be at the helm of a sinking ship and as such what ever decisions are needed to insure the financial stability of a company should always be management's first priority.  

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