Don’t waste a good recession – So said a client to me recently. The more I thought about it, the more I saw the value and sense in the statement. 

As I keep telling everyone and anyone who cares to listen, we are living in extraordinary times. Never before have we seen such financial turmoil or confusion (many liken it to the Great Depression of the 1930s) as this that has rapidly unfolded before our very eyes.

And yet many people are just getting on with it. The people and governments in Asia are investing in building capabilities and skills, business systems, training programmes and infrastructure in anticipation of better times.

This seems to be the case as well with some of the folks I’ve met recently, running enterprises in Southeast Asia. Some very sharp folks from enterprising organisations like the Singapore Government, Amercian Express, IDC, IBM, Microsoft, Lenovo, UBS, Shell, NetApp, Avocent, and General Electric have long ago incorporated this into their day to day thinking.

The general consensus is the recession is here to stay – so lets get out there invest in improving our skills, our business processes and make ourselves more relevant and viable for new business!

A recession like this (having lived through two in my time) not only sharpens one’s minds but also fortifies the heart. We get used to hard work, things that have to be done within the box as opposed to out of the box (with lots of budget)! We learn to be more responsive to clients, partners, colleagues, friends and even bosses. 

We go out there to acquire or improve skills that are vital to survival like: looking after customers, working smarter (not just harder), counsel that delivers value and results, and most importantly delivering profits!

So as the great Zig Ziglar said, lean into the problem and tackle it head on. Don’t waste a good recession!