Perhaps a better title for this blog would be making the case for change management in uncertain times. I cannot recall such uncertain times during the last 35 years. Sure, we’ve had market crashes, major conflicts and tragedies such as 911. But we’ve never experienced them on a daily basis before. Yesterday we saw the biggest ever numeric drop of the DOW, the sub-prime rescue package voted out and three major banks being rescued – a contagion affecting the US, UK and mainland Europe.
It’s unsettling to say the least and it has an impact on most businesses and most individuals. By this I mean that credit has all but dried up in the financial sector, mortgages are both hard to get and expensive while pension funds have fallen by about 30%.
We’re in uncharted territory and nobody is quite sure how to make a map. So what do you do? Well the natural reaction is to do nothing, find a cosy foxhole and pull over lots of cover.
Returning to the markets, that’s just what some people are doing but it was interesting that Warren Buffett is taking a contrarian view. In the middle of this chaos and uncertainty he has written a cheque for $5 billion – buying into financial services (Goldman Sachs) of all areas. Few would argue with his judgement given his spectacular track record over the last fifty years.
Uncertain times present opportunities. But identifying and taking advantage of those opportunities requires a culture which is adaptive to change. Having a smart CEO is not enough in this age of complexity; gone are the days when the boss made all of the decisions and everyone else implemented them.
Creating a culture which anticipates and embraces change is the real prize, but sometimes it can be hard to work out where to start. Well, you could try examining the behaviours in your organisation to find out if they are really helping or hindering. Our Introduction to Culture is a low-cost fast-track way of doing this.