Reading or watching the news is really no fun at the moment. Even in conversations, the mood is rather November-grey, especially when it comes to economic topics and Germany as a business location. Yet it is only October and the leaves are changing colour. So let’s go for a walk and take a relaxed optimistic look at the future.
Let’s first look at ourselves. When do we change, when do we set a new course? In sunny times, when life runs smoothly, we have tailwind and only surf the best waves? Or rather in stormy times, when we feel that we have to change something in order to move forward? Probably most of you say: When the wind is blowing in our faces.
Room for the New
I don’t want to gloss over the risks of the recession. But I would like to see the opportunities being seized as well. Here I am very close to the national economist Alois Schumpeter, who saw the recession as an economic phase in which the old is destroyed to make room for the new. And anyone who has ever taken a closer look at artificial intelligence, digitalisation and robotics has an inkling of the profound changes that lie ahead.
So it’s time for an honest stocktaking, and every company and every business should start by taking stock for themselves:So it’s time for an honest stocktaking, and every company and every business should start by taking stock for themselves:
- Where do we stand today, where will we stand in six months or a year? What does the order situation look like? Where are the critical points? Are we affected by the recession at all and if so, to what extent?
- What does our business model look like? Is it – detached from the economic downturn – still sustainable in view of new technological possibilities, or do we have to adapt it?
- What do our structures look like? Is there anything superfluous that we can do without, for example through new optimised processes?
- Which of our business areas generate good results, which should we put to the test?
- Where is there untapped potential that we could drive forward with creativity or more research and development?
- In which business areas are investments worthwhile despite rising interest rates, and if so, where
- For which tasks do we need more know-how? Do we need specially trained staff from outside or can we offer existing employees new professional opportunities?
- How is our competitive environment at home and abroad? What do others do better than we do, what can we learn from them and transfer to ourselves?
What can help companies in times of crisis? In my view, the willingness to innovate, flexibility, resilience and a financial cushion to buffer fluctuations. Also helpful is a constructive approach to mistakes – at all levels. Because that gives you the courage to try out new things and to take risks. So be happy if your company or business focuses on constructive feedback and does not look for “culprits”.
Are you currently dealing with these questions and would like a critical view from outside? Then please feel free to contact me.