Recessions Aren't the End of the World, But They Sure Feel Like It
December 23, 2008
By Peter Brockmann
, President, Brockmann & Company
If it’s not official, it sure seems that it ought to be: the global economy is in recession.
Technically, according to www.recession.org
, it takes two quarters of consecutive decline in Gross Domestic Products to actually have a recession. And, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis only reports that the US economy suffered a 0.5% decline in Gross Domestic Product in the third quarter 2008, while the second quarter grew a respectable 2.6%.
Even so, for Americans, this would be the fourth recession since 1980, and it may be very well end up being the most severe in recent memory. Of course, most managers won’t need an economics degree or a Google (News
) search to know that they’re in a recession.
All a manager has to do is answer these simple questions with a ‘Yes’ and know that the management of the company thinks they are there:
- Has head count been frozen or staff laid off?
- Have budgets been eliminated or severely reduced?
- Has the staff holiday party been cancelled?
- Does any business travel require approval of the most senior executives?
- Are there new control directives demanding several layers of executive approval for the tiniest of expenditures?
During these periods of negative growth, companies typically apply tighter administrative control on spending of all types, reduce their workforces through forced retirements and layoffs and postpone new product introductions or new initiatives of any kind. Probably most depressing of all is that Managers often feel powerless in recessions.
But that is definitely not true.
There are things that managers can and must do in times of recession if they plan to position themselves for a promotion as the business heads into recovery. If ever there was a time for a common sense Manager’s Recession Survival Guide, this is it. I’ve prepared a Brainshark presentation
to give managers a framework that can make the company response to a recession make sense. The presentation also provides five ideas that can empower the previously powerless Manager.
How do you plan on responding to the recession?
Peter Brockmann (News - Alert) is president of Brockmann & Company, a consulting & advisory firm serving high tech equipment & application vendors and service providers. Learn more at www.brockmann.com.
Peter Brockmann, a seasoned technology marketing executive, writes the Out of the Box column for TMCnet. To read more of Peter’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Greg Galitzine