Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read to help you find a prosperous path through the current financial crisis., July 1, 2009
This review is from: The Upside of the Downturn: Ten Management Strategies to Prevail in the Recession and Thrive in the Aftermath (Hardcover)
I took a scuba diving training course when I was a teenager so I could go diving with my brothers. Of the many helpful things I took away from that excellent course, one principle more than any of the others has found its way into every aspect of my life: "panic kills". The sudden economic changes we are going through now (and will continue to face over the coming months and years, despite rosy government predictions) too often cause us to react without careful thinking. We get the urge to do something! Anything! In order to get away from the catastrophe. But this kind of panic is exactly the wrong thing. Conversely, we can also get the urge to just sit down and wait to die. Also, a mistake and a more obvious one. But both are urges can be very strong and hard to override in order to do something more intelligent.

This book by Geoff Colvin can help you take a bit of time to rethink how you want to face this financial downturn. The Great Depression was awful for many families (including my parents' families), but for many others it created opportunities and many fortunes began during that crisis. This brief book shows you how to find a door opening instead of staring at the door that just slammed shut.

Colvin spends two chapters explaining how this downturn can present opportunities for you and your business and what the new global financial normal means. The ten principles mentioned in the subtitle are each given a chapter: 1) Reset your priorities, 2) Protect your people because they are a vital asset to your business, 3) Relationships are changing, so take charge of the change, 4) Take a fresh look at your business model - it might need to adapt to seize fresh opportunities, 5) Manage for Value, 6) Your customers have new problems so create new solutions to help them, 7) Don't panic and cut prices; have some courage, 8) Increase your operational discipline and get healthier faster, 9) Take a deeper look at all the risks your company faces, 10) Spend time on growing yourself.

The last chapter talks about how you should operate in good times to be ready for the next sudden downturn.

Colvin has lots of helpful insights and good arguments for the principles he lays out. He uses examples from the real world to illustrate his points as well as his own persuasive arguments. Again, this isn't a big book or a major work of business philosophy. However, if recent events and your gaze into possible futures leaves you feeling anxious and queasy, this book might be just the kind of think to settle your stomach and help you think through your situation so you can get yourself pointed in a confident direction and begin moving forward again.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
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4.8 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
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Craig Matteson
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Saline, MI

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