Thursday, December 11, 2008

Global Crisis, Local Solutions

I hope we are getting OFF the conversations on global crisis. Media fails to give us news to take action. We can feel sad, but can’t connect our actions to a solution. We are ‘informed’ on those things where we feel we have no control. Sit, shut, listen, fear. Wow!

This wealth drop is precisely about shifting from the seats onto the stage. Sharing negative news distracts us from our real worries, and keeps us on our chairs, watching the global crisis. Watching. I want to be ‘informed’ but please let’s talk about solutions. No, the financial crisis has not “affected” me. I’ve been there before. Most of us have. The crisis is outside of me, not inside. When we approach it that way, we can take actions that lead to success. We are all part of the solution. Think about that.

I’m old enough to have lived through several crisis. It is NOT true that this is the largest financial crisis ever; of course it makes a great heading, but put it into perspective. World’s population is largest than ever… Same is true an hour, a day or a week later. Duh!

Crisis keeps us agile. It is like the old joke of the millionaire that offers all his wealth to the person who dares to swim in his crocodile infested pool. Suddenly there is a turmoil and a bruised and blodied man emerges on the other side. Congratulated by everyone he claims: I don’t want the money, just to find who pushed me in!

Without that push it would be much harder to think outside of the box. And always after a crisis there is a time of stability so we can get the energy to reinvent our businesses and our lives. The crisis is NOT the problem, we are the problem.

So, here are my tips for de-crisising:

1.Simplify. Check your life plan and your business plan. Define what is critical and important, get rid of the rest. Crisis are great for trimming!
Clean: In times of scarcity others might need what you don’t. Don’t throw, donate what you don’t need. Find a way to recycle.
Rest: There is no use in stressing. Adapt to the smaller cash available. The world is not going to end if you have fewer revenues. Do consider your cash flow if you have a business, so you can stay afloat, yet don’t welcome the crisis inside. Take time off, give people time off.

2.Rationalize. Focus on what is MOST important: your best clients, your best employees, your best friends, your best products or services.
Become more efficient: Don’t cut costs at random. Evaluate the return on your resources: time and money. For example, don’t lay off people or write off products, without thinking about the impact in the clients.
Keep relationships: Support others. We are all interconnected. Many people are stressed or scared. Exploring ways to support others shifts your mindset from victim to heroe, and it is always easier to help other people first. Helping others puts your own worries into context and strengthens your leadership skills.

3. Grow. Take the time to explore new things, learn, be curious. Prepare for the next wave of stability and growth. Think strategically. Learn to do the same with less. It is crazy to expect that doing more you will achieve more. The world is going into hibernation, why waste your energy?
Develop new skills: Take a class, form a group with friends, employees, or peers. Use your spare time to learn something just because.
Create: Enjoy the process of self-expression. Create for the pure pleasure to do it.
Explore: Foster your capacity to think differently by facing uncertain territories. Exploring distracts your mind from the problem, and forces you to find solutions.
Plan: Discuss how the measures you take today will impact your future.

And finally, celebrate life. At the end, everything is fine, if it is not fine, it’s not the end.

The global crisis needs local solutions. You are part of either side…. Or both… You chose.


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