Is it cold?
We admit the global crisis and its victims. Yet, we cannot deny the values it generated, often taken for granted.
Can the belt be any tighter?
The business measures we have taken in order to economize, throughout 2009 for example, should have been a part of the business practice even before the crisis.
It is then that we realized how much less we could have been spending, at home or at work, without a more significant difference in quality.
We have in fact paid the price of being reckless and learnt the lesson hard way. That was the first blow.
Major changes have taken place since and while some were gradual in influencing our habits and procedures, others happened over night. Nobody likes changes, especially not on a conscious level.
Can we cut back even more? Yes, because we got comfortable in 2010. Future good times were at hand, communication budgets grew (some research state that in Q3,4 they even reached the levels of 2008!), great expectations and hope… yet just an illusion.
That is how 2011 lowered expectations based on numerous, objective, local and global economic reasons, scaring and scarring many. And that is all familiar: we listen about it, think and talk about it, complain and even feel sorry for ourselves.
My son has a great little book that we used when he was almost three and wouldn`t let us cut his nails. The book shows a tiny, cheerful Moma boy, who, as soon as the parents show up with scissors, starts screaming. The wording literally say “when he cries”. It is a conditioned reflex, just like with us: when the crisis is evident, we moan.
Crisis bring uncertainty. There are no guarantees, whether we plan or not, our influence on the environment and goals set, becomes less. But it is not insignificant and we must not forget that the greatest innovations have been born in less than perfect circumstances.
My professional experience shows that crisis has brought more creativity, resourcefulness, different and thinking outside the box. The art of making something out of… well not nothing, but nearly nothing, has been mastered on daily level, often reaching geniuses` heights.
We have learnt to prioritize better.
The changed market circumstances have helped us notice new opportunities, the challenges have made us tougher and contributed to our maturing, as well as getting to know better our own capabilities.
We care more about the clients, and we have gotten to know them better too, and thus provide higher quality service.
What Do Predictions Say?
Statistics is on our side. Well, maybe not… we are on our side and that should be enough. Life is an ongoing battle.
The guard who, works in my apartment building, each morning smiles at us, in such a kind manner, so rare these days and says: ”Good morning! Is it cold?” If there wasn`t for the smiling lips and eyes, one would think he is joking with you, not to use a harsher term. This way, with the grand smile, the day does begin with no cold, regardless of the fact that it is freezing outside, literally f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g.
Wish you happy holidays and then, full steam ahead again!