I’m still alive. I realize that I’ve been less than attendant to the blog for the past three weeks, but things should get back to normal in November. I’m going to be in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Calgary over the next three weeks or so and I also have some speaking engagements to tend to. You can still catch me at The Globe and Mail: in print on Tuesdays in the Life section (topics still deal with money of course!), or online twice weekly.
In the meantime, why not have a giveaway? :)
McGraw-Hill has graciously provided four copies of the book, Accelerating Out Of the Great Recession. In exchange I will just post their description down below. I have not read the book so I cannot provide a review. In fact, I have close to ten books sitting in my home office waiting for a review. Not enough time I’m afraid. Contest rules appear below the excerpt from McGraw-Hill.
The Boston Consulting Group has written a far-reaching diagnosis of the global economic crisis and an in-depth analysis of what leading corporations need to do in order to excel in a postrecession slow-growth world. In Accelerating Out of the Great Recession: How to Win in a Slow-Growth Economy, BCG Senior partners David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter argue that companies face ongoing and long-term challenges brought on by global trade imbalances, unstable financial institutions, and overleveraged consumers who can no longer be counted on to drive economic growth.
“There will be no return to the ‘old normal,’ and, just as we won’t be able to count on the consumer to rescue the global economy, it’s unlikely that the growth of emerging economies such as China and India will be enough to generate a return to pre-2008 global growth,” says Stelter. Rhodes adds, “Business will have to adapt to some ‘new realities’—including greater government intervention, the shakeup of existing industry structures, cost-conscious consumers inclined to save more, and an atmosphere in which stakeholders, ethics, and solid governance take priority over shareholders and quarterly results.”
Executives need to consider the following moves:
Embrace government affairs and programs. Two of the strongest companies of the last several decades, GE and IBM, were beneficiaries of opportunities created by the New Deal programs of the Great Depression. Executives need to learn to work with increasingly influential and powerful politicians and government officials.
Invest shrewdly in R&D and innovation. Downturn investments are often a better value because there is more availability of, and less competition for, resources. IBM continued to invest in innovation during the Great Depression, and McDonald’s accelerated past Burger King during the 1970s by increasing the relative number of store openings.
Increase M&A activity. BCG research shows that deals completed during downturns significantly outperform those done during upturns. In downturns, premiums are lower and opportunities are richer and more abundant. Now is a good time to be a predator, rather than waiting passively and becoming prey during the slow-growth period.
Learn from, and keep an eye on, “challenger” companies in rapidly emerging markets. These companies will be able to accelerate faster because of cost advantages and comparable technical competence.
Address work-life balance issues. Flexibility in this area will help compensate for lower wages and, at the same time, enable companies to retain the talent they need in the future.
Observes Stelter, “Simply cutting costs and slashing marketing expenditures is not enough. Now is the time to transform industries. In the book, we show how many other companies did it during past recessions and postrecession periods. Executives need to take the lead in employing game-changing strategies.”
- Leave a comment on this post to earn an entry. Limit of one entry per email address.
- You must submit your email address on the comment form (so I can contact the winner), but your email address is never shown publicly, and is not sold to any third party companies – it’s just for the contest.
- Contest is open until 12pm EST (noon) on Sunday, October 24th, 2010.
- Winner must answer a skill testing question.
- Winner has 1 week to provide full mailing address after I contact them.
- Open to residents of Canada and the USA only.