Knowledge Archive

Bain & Company, December 10, 2008, Darrell Rigby
Pull the Right Levers for Your Situation
The current economic downturn is likely to be steep, long and turbulent. What are the right moves now and over the coming months to adjust and play to your strengths? A critical first step is determining exactly where you stand. A tropical storm viewed from a weather satellite looks more or less uniform, as if it is affecting every area it touches with equal force. On the ground the picture... Read more »
McKinsey, December 1, 2008, Lowell Bryan, Diana Farrell
The range of possible futures confronting business is great. Companies that nurture flexibility, awareness, and resiliency are more likely to survive the crisis, and even to prosper. The future of capitalism is here, and it’s not what any of us expected. With breathtaking speed, in the autumn of 2008 the credit markets ceased functioning normally, governments around the world began... Read more »
McKinsey, December 1, 2008, Hugh Courtney
Although even the highest levels of uncertainty don’t prevent businesses from analyzing predicaments rationally, says author Hugh Courtney, the financial crisis has shown us the limits of our tools—and minds. Hugh Courtney’s book,20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World, was published the day before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As the economist and former... Read more »
McKinsey, December 1, 2008, Matthew Guthridge, John R. McPherson, William J. Wolf
A downturn can give smart companies a chance to upgrade their talent.
Downturns place companies’ talent strategies at risk. As deteriorating performance forces increasingly aggressive head count reductions, it’s easy to lose valuable contributors inadvertently, damage morale or the company’s external reputation among potential employees, or drop the ball on important training and staff-development programs. But there is a better way. By emphasizing talent in... Read more »
Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2008, Darrell Rigby, Steve Ellis
Like dangerous curves on a racetrack, economic downturns create more opportunities for companies to move from the middle of the pack into leadership positions than any other time in business. Unlike straight-aways where leaders can thrive on raw power alone, steep curves require strategic finesse. That often results in dramatic differences in performance as leaders steer out of the ... Read more »

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