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Recession-proof your business now | Issue #202

Eleven Proven Ways to Grow your Business through a Recession

Here we are again on the brink of another recession. It’s all so familiar. The media is full of doom and gloom. The Bank of England’s forecasts have been bleak. Inflation is out of control. Putin’s war is destabilising markets with no end in sight. The UK is likely to fare worse than other western economies – so much for the ‘Brexit dividend’.  What a sorry state we find ourselves in.

Yet, I believe recessions provide opportunities for fast-growing companies with energy and conviction.  And I’m not just saying that.  It’s my experience.  In only five years, I’ve scaled two UK businesses from zero revenue to £30 million. Both were during recessions. 

There are things that you should be doing right now.  At the very least, they will recession-proof your business.  But at best, they could help you push ahead of your competition.  You may come out of the next recession in a stronger position than where you started.

So, what should you do now as CEO of a business that’s steering into these choppy waters?

Why Positive Psychology is for Everyone with Dr Vikki Barnes

How do you get people to bring their authentic selves to work? By building a culture of psychological safety in the workplace, says clinical psychologist, Dr Vikki Barnes. To learn how you can implement positive psychology in your workplace, download and listen…

Radical Candor

Moving from command-and-control to successful collaboration isn’t easy. But telling people what to do doesn’t work. Learn how to kick ass at work without losing your humanity by practicing the principles of Radical Candor. Host Amy Sandler leads discussions with Radical Candor co-founders Kim Scott and Jason Rosoff about what it means to be Radically Candid, why it’s simple but not easy to Care Personally and Challenge Directly on the daily, and why it’s worth it.

Motivating People Starts with Building Emotional Connections

Thousands of years ago, Aristotle identified pathos as a critical element in communication and persuasion. As the maxim suggests, logic makes us think, but emotions make us act. In this piece, the author offers three ways to harness the power of emotion to motivate your team: 1) Cultivate the energy that flows from enthusiasm. 2) Recognize what’s behind anger and put it to better use. 3) Drive deeper engagement with a focus on development.

Leadership Effectiveness: How to Be a Better Leader

Gallup has gathered their advice on leadership, the traits that make fantastic leaders, most effective leadership styles and the differences between leadership and management. Greate resource.

The Biggest Problem With Remote Work

The work-from-anywhere revolution has something of a kick-starter problem: It’s harder for new workers, new groups, and new ideas to get revved up. Derek Thompson suggests that companies need a new kind of middle manager: the synchronizer.

Experimentation Works by Stefan H. Thomke

When it comes to improving customer experiences, trying out new business models, or developing new products, even the most experienced managers often get it wrong. They discover that intuition, experience, and big data alone don’t work. What does? Running disciplined business experiments. And what if companies roll out new products or introduce new customer experiences without running these experiments? They fly blind.That’s what Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke shows in this rigorously researched and eye-opening book. It guides you through best practices in business experimentation, illustrates how these practices work at leading companies, and answers some fundamental questions: What makes a good experiment? How do you test in online and brick-and-mortar businesses? In B2B and B2C? How do you build an experimentation culture?

Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono

Meetings are a crucial part of all our lives, but too often they go nowhere and waste valuable time. In Six Thinking Hats, Edward de Bono shows how meetings can be transformed to produce quick, decisive results every time. The Six Hats method is a devastatingly simple technique based on the brain’s different modes of thinking. The intelligence, experience and information of everyone is harnessed to reach the right conclusions quickly. These principles fundamentally change the way you work and interact. They have been adopted by businesses and governments around the world to end conflict and confusion in favour of harmony and productivity.


Are you a vendor or an expert?

There is a continuum between expert and vendor. At one end, you’re a vendor, and prospects will beat you up on price. You are trying to productise everything you sell, but you are undifferentiated. You don’t have a real position. ‘We care’ and ‘It’s our people’ are not differentiators. Everybody says the same thing. At the other end, you are an expert, and you’ll get a premium for your expertise. You’re clearly differentiated and have a higher margin. In fact –and as I learned from my recent conversation with Hermann Simon – you will have probably 2 to 3 times the margin of your competitors if you’re positioned as an expert.

Quote of the week

“In differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress.”

Louis D. Brandeis

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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