Rough Seas Ahead?

Economists, politicians, and many business leaders are predicting a recession in 2023 as the Federal Reserve continues to tighten to lower inflation and inflationary expectations.

Alas, I have no insight on whether an economic downturn will come to pass.  I do know that this is a great time to build resilience into our organization and our people that will help our businesses to withstand any downturn and profit from any upswing.

Simplify and Focus

Whether a recession is coming or not, now is the best time to simplify and focus our business on what is most important.  In good times, we all accumulate excess processes and people which create more work and more people.  It is a good time to cut through all that and to simplify.  Most importantly, we need to ask ourselves: what are we doing that we do not need to do anymore?

Tighten Up the Crew

With the excess processes and people, we have accumulated some poor performers.  The prospect of a downturn gives us the opportunity to lay off (with respect) poor performers due to ā€œlack of work.ā€  This strengthens the team where good performers are probably already doing double duty to cover for and correct the mistakes of the poor performers.

Recommit to Our Good People

Along with the need to tighten up the crew, we need to re-commit to our good people continuing to provide and support them and to assure them of their strong future with our company.  In rough seas, we all want to tighten our belts and watch costs closely.  But, we still need to celebrate our good people and ensure that we keep our business as a great place to work.

Recommunicate the Vision and the Mission

To recommit to our good people, we need to get out to our team (one on one, in small groups, and in larger townhall settings) and recommunicate our vision, our mission, and our strong future together -rough seas be damned

Be Opportunistic

With a simplified and focus business and our great people, now may be the time to be opportunistic: to enter a new business or product line, to invest, to find good people from the competition, to seek out the right acquisitions.  Warren Buffet is quoted as saying:

Be fearful when everyone else is greedy and greedy when everyone else is fearful.

Likewise, we need to be opportunistic when everyone else is re-trenching.


With a strong vision and mission and a great crew, we will surmount any upcoming rough seas. 

Full speed ahead!!


About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
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