What are Businesses Getting Wrong in the Recession?

Everyone ‘s falling about with worry. The recession has us all cautious about spending more money than we absolutely have to, taking on new staff, renting more premises or bringing in too much product in advance.

How can we hang in there? How can we thrive? How can we ensure that our largest and possibly most expensive resource is working to maximum capacity? Continue reading “What are Businesses Getting Wrong in the Recession?”

Recession Survival

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I spoke last week to a teacher whose husband’s employer was dealing with the recession by avoiding making excess stock, but taking real stock of staff training needs and using the down time to cater for them. At a time when training budgets are being cut along with everything else, I was dead impressed at the far-thinking of an owner killing two birds with one stone, as it were, by developing his existing staff at the same time as keep unnecessary production down. But, how else can businesses survive? Continue reading “Recession Survival”

Pessimism, Realism and the Recession

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An Australian psychologist has claimed that feeling grumpy ‘is good for you’. At least that’s the spin the popular media put on the findings of Professor Joe Forgas of the University of South Wales. What the guy actually says is a little more nuanced. His claim is that there are some advantages to negative moods, just as there are to positive moods. Continue reading “Pessimism, Realism and the Recession”

Did Positive Thinking Cause the Recession?

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A few weekends ago I happened across an article called Positive thinking is positively bad for you so always look on the glum slide of life by Virginia Ironside. In it she gave a positive review for a book entitled Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. The author is Barbara Ehrenreich, an American journalist, socialist and political activist. Continue reading “Did Positive Thinking Cause the Recession?”

Cutting the Crap of Recession-Speak (Part 2)

Breaking news – Gordon Brown has become a personal development guru! I’ll have to watch out for my customers…

In Cutting the Crap of Recession-Speak (Part 1) I contrasted the advice of entrepreneur Sir David Tang with our Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Tang urges small-but-optimistic thinking, whereas Brown preaches a kamikaze imprudent doctrine of spend, spent, spend.

Now it seems that Gordo has got on message. For this new attempt to harness positive psychology in the name of politics, see Brown warns against ‘pessimism’. But even here, he can’t resist the use of that histrionic, grandiose language that may well be one of the causes of the recession in the first place! For instance, he claims that the economic crisis should be treated as “the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order”. I find this kind of overtly Orwellian language disturbing. Continue reading “Cutting the Crap of Recession-Speak (Part 2)”

Is the Economy Half Empty or Half Full?

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Yet another story about how UK customer optimism ‘increases’ hits the headlines. This is according to the Nationwide Consumer Confidence index. Actually, its a pretty good tool. Check it out. There’s even a confidence barometer. But what does all this talk of ‘optimism’ actually mean in this context?

I’ve blogged before about these strange use of words in Cutting the Crap of Recession-Speak Part 1 and Part 2. Luckily enough, I train businesspeople in the skill and strategy of optimism as an aspect of Emotional Intelligence. So I can say a few things about it.

Continue reading “Is the Economy Half Empty or Half Full?”

Cutting the Crap of Recession-Speak (Part 1)

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I’ve just read the best article yet only article worth reading on the current recession.

I’m no macro-economist, so I’ve found it hard to follow some of the more technical melodramatic discussions so beloved by the media. How did this global economic tsunami downturn come about? An over-inflated property market? A housing crisis? Banks too eager to lend? Stock market greed and irresponsibility? Premiership footballer wages? Or – my opinion for what it’s worth – is it part of a natural cycle? Continue reading “Cutting the Crap of Recession-Speak (Part 1)”

Are Storm Clouds Gathering?

The BBC and Workology, among others, have taken up the news of the British Chambers of Commerce July announcement – UK in ‘serious ‘ danger of recession. Chamber Online expressed concern that business taxation might rise, squeezing an already thin profit margin, borne out by falling cashflow levels in the services and manufacturing industries. That, added to the slowing up in house sales is making all of us decidedly twitchy… Continue reading “Are Storm Clouds Gathering?”