The Upside of the Downturn:Management Strategies for Difficult Times

“Best Management Book of 2009” – Strategy + Business magazine 2009

The financial crisis and resulting recession are over, but they changed business in ways that won’t go away. We’ve entered a bizarre new world where the usual patterns, signs, and rules of thumb don’t work anymore – where strapped consumers save more rather than less, where the U.S. economy doesn’t drive global growth, where long-dominant firms in industries from media to motorcars fall or even die.

But one thing hasn’t changed: Turbulent times are when fortunes are made. That’s what The Upside of the Downturn is all about.

Geoff shows how most companies are foolishly following the traditional rules for managing through recessions and expansions. Those companies will weaken and fade. The best business leaders understand that today’s new rules present a huge opportunity, which they’re grabbing and running with fast. Among the strategies they’re profiting from now:

  • Reset priorities to meet the new environment. Easy to say, harder to do. Throwing out your old strategic plan isn’t defeatism – it’s essential.
  • Reevaluate people and steal some good ones. There’s no better time to identify your true stars than when the world is turning upside down. If your competitors are dumb enough to fire good people in the name of cost cutting, grab them.
  • Identify your company’s core and nourish it no matter what. The best companies actually increase some spending in turbulent times, funding the areas that make them unique and valuable.
  • Price with courage. Are you certain you must cut prices? The best business leaders know the long-term damage often outweighs the short-term boost.

Through dozens of interviews with the world’s top business leaders, Geoff identifies the most critical issues you’re dealing with now. You’ll understand why one CEO, while reading this book, kept asking himself: “Was he in our meetings?”