There has been much discussion in recent months about whether the United States is in a recession. Based on the general definition – two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) - that marker was achieved in the summer of 2022. Then there are those who adhere to the theory that a recession requires a significant decline in economic activity lasting more than a few months. In their world, the economy is not yet in recession and it may not even reach that point.
Semantics aside, the ‘R-word’ is certainly appearing in a lot of headlines of late and not just in the U.S. There is a growing unease that a global recession is on the horizon, with many C-Suite leaders asking their teams to prepare for how they plan to navigate a potential financial storm.
Amid such fears though, it is crucial to remember that ‘recession’ does not need to be a dirty word. Look no further than an analysis of the recessions of 1980, 1990 and 2000 that found 9% of the 4,700 public companies studied flourished, outperforming competitors by at least 10% in sales and profits growth. Then there was a more recent analysis of data from the Great Recession (2007-09) that showed earnings by the top 10% of companies not only rose steadily during the downturn but continued to climb afterwards.
Ultimately, it is all about positioning one’s organization to be in the best place to tackle any hurdles that a recession may put in front of it and ensure that when the dust finally settles, it has not only survived but is thriving. On that note, here are six strategies that executives can implement to lead their company through challenging times.
Just as there are few tougher tasks than managing a business during recession, there are few greater opportunities for true leaders to step forward. While the previously mentioned analysis of the 1980, 1990 and 2000 recessions found 17% of the companies studied went bankrupt, went private or were acquired, there were countless others that emerged stronger than ever. No doubt their fortunes were guided by C-Suite executives who found the right mix of dealing with today’s concerns while keeping one eye firmly on tomorrow’s rewards.
The Industrial Revolution transformed society a couple of hundred years ago and now the world is experiencing another period of unprecedented change. Discover a complete guide to Industry 4.0 and learn how the fourth industrial revolution can help businesses streamline their operations and procedures.
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