It is time to “put up” or “shut up”

Everywhere we go, everything we read, with everyone we talk with in the market, all we hear about is the continuing saga of the financial crisis and world recession. Actually, there are a lot of people that have reached the point of saturation, and find that they can’t stand it anymore. A lot of people are really concerned with their jobs and where their next income is going to come from, as every day, thousands of people are laid off in all kinds of industries.

The fact of the matter is, that the economic parameters that were used to caliber the economy’s indicators, especially production cycles and quantities, were artificially inflated, and now are crumbling down. The economy was based on virtual demands inflated by easy money and credit, combined with massive “media brain washed” type of unlimited consumption.

What is mind boggling, however, is that somehow, most economic experts were unable to foresee the big picture, and now, they seem to be lost, as to what is the real bottom, and what are the most effective counter solutions.

Nevertheless, there is always the other side of the coin. And with crisis is the same thing. From the other side of the “crisis coin”, the is a simple message, which is telling us this current situation is just another way of saying, that the existing model is not working any longer, and that a new model is needed.

The space in between these two models, the old one that needs to away, and the new one still to arrive, is what we call “crisis”, and it is actually the movement that will promote the necessary change. Einstein once wrote that “the people that repute their failures due to crisis, in reality, constrain their talent and end up showing more respect for the problem, rather than to the actual solutions. Without crisis there are no challenges, and the absence of challenges, makes life dull. It is at times of crisis that the new inventions and the great strategies are discovered”.

Many companies across several industries will need to face the challenges, and find new ways for doing things better and reaching our farther, in order to be able to rise to the occasion. The outcome of this worldwide economic “tsunami” will be that, the companies that survive, are the ones that were able to look into their organizations, and understand what does really add value and what does not to their core business.

Grady Means and David Schneider, both Senior Strategic Change Consultants at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, in their book “Metacapitalism”, written in 2000, anticipated that, in the future, companies would concentrate their energies mainly in two critical aspects that, regardless of the ongoing scenarios, would always be present: brand equity and customer relationship. Everything else that supported those two things would eventually be outsourced.

We probably have a long way before that happens, but after this atomic-like blast in the economy, and the pressure for cost reductions, many companies that had never considered outsourcing their business processes (back office), are finding out, it has became imperative they do so, if they are to survive.

In Einstein’s personal assessment of crisis, he also said that “to speak about the crisis is to promote it. To remain quiet about it is to accept the conformism. Instead, we need to work hard, and terminate for good, on the only real crisis that exists: The tragedy of not wanting to fight to overcome it”.

Well, undoubtedly, these are very trying times. We will need to learn how to make more with less. We will need to re arrange our priorities to be more in synch with our organic reality. We will need to re tool ourselves in order to meet new demands.  We will need to adjust our lives to a new standard of “true sustainable” living. We will need to overcome our best performances and out do ourselves. We will need to understand that these new times require more sharing and more daring.

We have finally come to the real lesson, which so far we had only done the “talk”, and that now, we will have to do the “walk” – there is no free lunch, after all.

It is time to put or shut up.



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