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December 07, 2009

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Norm Nopper

I like Noel Quinn's counter intuitive statement:

"History tells us more businesses will fail in recovery than they do in a downturn."

During downturns, businesses denude themselves of their talent through layoffs and by cutting back on training and development. Because they are focus solely on the financials, especially cashflow, they neglect the employees who survive the layoffs. And the moment good time return, employees who did survive are apt to "bolt for the door" to find better opportunities.

During the downturn, companies lose customers because of economic reasons - i.e., through no fault of their own.

During the recovery, companies don't have the people resources to meet customers' needs and expectations. They lose customers because they can't deliver, and they suffer loss of reputation.

After an economic downturn, customers come back. After a poor customer experience, they don't.

The companies the will be well positioned to take full advantage of the recovery are those that:
1) kept an eye on their financials to weather the downturn.
2) kept an eye on their talent to retain and develop the people they will need to meet demand once the customer returns.

And remember the basic laws of business:
Business is a HUMAN activity, because,
1) If you don't have a customer, you don't have a business.
2) If you don't have talented people, you can't provide a quality product/service at a profit.

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