Let’s talk about recession. I know — there’s probably a little nervous flutter in your stomach just thinking about it. We get it. Most every article that has crossed your screen has been marked by bold, red, statements - “Prepare for the Worst,” “Beware of Inflation,” “The Unpredictable is Coming”.
Always remember: you have a choice in how you perceive and communicate about this, and the choice you make shapes the performance of your business.The fact of the matter is - recession is expected. When we consider the history of global recessions over the past century, we see that expansion and contraction in the economy has been a pattern. However, while we expect these cycles of expansion and contraction, what we cannot predict is the length and impact of any given cycle. The official definition of recession is subject to debate, but most popularly defined as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Historically, recessions have lasted from two months to almost two years. Their inception and duration has been affected by a variety of factors.
Rather than spending energy worrying about what will only become clear in hindsight, we find it better to focus on what we can control: building a resilient business that is centered on human energy as your most important resource. Human energy is a resource that is not subject to expansion and contraction. The resilience and brilliant creativity of your team is the most dependable asset you have for navigating turbulence.
Our focus on building resilient businesses that are centered around energy as their biggest resource is not only crucial at all times but even more so during a recession. We can transform businesses not just to best fit the ‘now’, but reimagine how to create an environment that is resilient to the business cycles. Humans are recession-proof. Let’s build structures that support your people in doing their best work, so you can more easefully manage the ebbs and flows.
As a stakeholder (whether an owner, leader, customer or employee) you have the power to reimagine expectations of what it means to be a good business. Imagine a world where businesses were praised for their level of dedication to employees and customers, rather than solely their financial performance.
That's not just a dream. It's already happening.
A good business can ride the waves, still employ a great base of workers that helps keep the economy going, and continue to evolve with their customers. If these are the pillars of what can be defined as a ‘good business’, then you have the opportunity to prepare internally to combat these natural retractions by not focusing solely on the dips in revenue and stock prices.
There is a direct cause and effect between the balance of human energy within your business, and monetary success. The fears that people have about recession have an impact on your business. Your team can't perform at their best if they are seeing and hearing messages that feed their fear. Communicating your business’s resiliency, and your commitment to the humans in your business, is critical to you continuing to do your best work as a company. What’s the best way to do this as a leader, even if you are feeling afraid?
Think back to the start of your business - when you first got excited to write your mission statement. You most likely brainstormed something that - in a sense - was human-focused one way or another. It may have been creating happy customers, cultivating change, allowing for easier, more accessible services, or something else you were inspired to go out and accomplish. When did the source of inspiration for that mission statement get put to the wayside? When the slight dip in Q2’s profits outweigh other measures like hundreds of 5-star reviews, or employee success feedback that tripled month over month?
Here’s our point: There is a reason why every business’s mission statement isn’t “We want to make a lot of money, and grow that money into more money.” So the way we grow and measure our success shouldn’t be solely based on money, either. Don’t let your worries about recession steal your energy. Focus on finding balance in your business, and recentering on what success really means for you, your team, and your customers. Your business doesn’t need to shift into survival mode. Instead, prepare to thrive.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare to thrive.