“Ideas and guidance come from the most unexpected sources – if you’re open to receiving it.” Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox, once told Fortune magazine that the best advice she ever received was from a customer who attended a breakfast meeting she conducted. “‘When everything gets really complicated and you feel overwhelmed,’ the customer explained, ‘you gotta do three things. First, get the cow out of the ditch. Second, find out how the cow got into the ditch. Third, make sure you do whatever it takes so the cow doesn’t go into the ditch again.’”
Get Out of the Ditch
“The pragmatic translation of this homespun advice: The first imperative is survival. Second is figuring out what happened. Then, learn from those lessons and put a plan in place to recognize the signs in the future so you never make the same mistake again.”
Understand the Ditch
The economy is rebounding slowly. Will companies make the same mistakes again? We’ve ridden many economic waves – 1987, 2001, now – and when things pick up, we quickly forget lessons learned and go back to the way we used to work, and we believe the economy – and our business – will continue to boom.
The National Bureau of Economic Research reported in December 2008 that the U.S. economic recession officially started in December 2007 – that’s nearly 2 years ago. No one predicted then how deep a ditch the cow was in. And, our heads were in the same ditch as the cow.
However, some good news surfaced during this recession. People talked, they wanted to connect and exchange creative ideas. They challenged conventional thinking and adopted new ways of working. Continuing this exchange of ideas in a slowly growing economy is essential.