It’s an unusual thing to do in a blog…..but I have, dear reader, decided to come out to you. I guess I should do this to family, friends or colleagues but the liberation of admitting I’m not part of the vast majority of society is just too much to keep to myself. I’m sick of having to pretend I’m just like everyone else, especially when leading their life following the rest of the pack doesn’t seem to make them happy.
So dear reader, here goes – you can be the first to know…..I’m not participating in the recession. There – it’s out there. You can judge and taunt me, but I’m done with the recession and you’ll have to just deal with it.
The single dip became a double dip, the double dip is becoming Deeply Dippy and every business I know is morosely taking themselves onto the lemming-ledge at a Chicken ‘Licken convention. I’m not saddled with either degrees in Economics nor much basic intelligence, which is why I am so qualified to realise that there’s not much good to come from participating in the recession, SO JUST DON’T TAKE PART IN IT. If everyone is in the same morass and there’s not much chance of it getting better, don’t label it as a cycle – just treat it as a new reality….a new world order…..a brave new world….. and just man-up and get on with it.
The brilliant thing is that with everyone running shy of growth, investment or optimism, fortune really does favour the brave. Not reckless, not delusional, but the brave. Feeling competitive at a time when all your competitors are running scared is magnificently liberating for you, and your P&L. A broken economy is a marvellous time to be radical with your innovation strategy and dispassionate with your cost base, so rip the backside out of it. Acquisition and merging has never looked so attractive, the synergy benefits are all the more valuable in a downturn. With everyone else retrenching and licking their fiscal wounds, there’s never been a better time to buy, merge or just aggressively out-compete a sullen, recession-obsessed competitor.
Recessional cycles are triggered by psychological factors as much as they are fiscal, and turning optimism into a self-fulfilling prophecy by turning your back on the dementors is magnificent.
Walk against the flow of those huddling on the ledge and realise that with everyone else hunkered down, there’s so much room to go and explore.
Ellis Watson is the Chief Executive of DC Thomson, one of the world’s largest family-owned media groups. He is the former head of Syco Entertainment, the joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony, where he ran the global format and commercial strategies for X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
Ellis is the keynote speaker at the following GrowthAccelerator roadshow events taking place across the country throughout October.