I was in Belgrade, Serbia, recently to speak at a conference of Business people.

On the way in from the Airport to my hotel, I asked the young driver as to whether he felt that things had improved or worsened since my last trip to Belgrade a year earlier. He said that he felt that things had gotten worse, but that it was all going to be all right soon, as the Government had said that things would get better next year.

It seems that all around the world, people are waiting for the Economic Crisis to end, and for things to get better sometime next year.

I think that it is time that we stopped talking about this Financial Crisis as though it was something that was about to end, and started talking about the New Economic Reality instead, as I believe that this environment of economic restraint, of uncertainty and of regular market heaving surprises will be with us for a long time.

Companies (and individuals) who sit around waiting for things to get better are a lot like a man with one leg sitting around waiting for it to grow back … it just isn’t going to happen !

A man with one leg needs to get on with living. He can go out and get a prosthetic leg and get on with his life. It will not be the same as before, and he will need to make some adjustments, but it can still be a good and worthwhile life. In the same way, I believe that Companies need to get on and learn to live within the new Economic Environment in which we now find ourselves. It will not be the same as before, as obviously that was unsustainable, but it can still be a worthwhile existence.

Waiting for “the Government” or the “Central Bank” or some other external body to make the Business Environment better doesn’t make any more sense than the man with one leg waiting to develop lizard-like qualities so that he can regenerate a limb.

The success of the Companies and Organisations that we are part of depends totally on the ability to adjust our business models and our thinking to the new realities, and the sooner we can make these adjustments the more successful we will be.

If by some fluke of chance Governments and Central banks do work out some way of making things better for us all, we should just take this as an added bonus, rather than something that we were all depending on.


12 Responses to GROWING A NEW LEG

  1. Hermann says:

    Dear Les

    Congratulations for your blog. I like the stories, you have chosen to publish first.
    The dog story is something, that directs me very often.
    And the leg is the best image for what I’m feeling too: Crises don’t go away. First they accelerate change. They are over, once we have adjusted.


  2. Loved the commentary on our new economic order and “busy, busy” – those words are used by the NZ Inst of the Blind to train the puppies that become seeing eye dogs – they in turn lead blind people safely thru danger – perhaps most of our new age managers would do better with a blindfold and a seeing eye dog to negotiate the business obstacles of the next few years. Cheers RTA

    • Les says:

      Hi Bob,

      We got the “busy, busy” command from your experiences with the rejects from the Dogs for the Blind programme in NZ. It works really well as long as we don’t use it as an answer to “How is life ?”

      I feel that many companies have grown well beyond their management skill levels, so are flying blind most of the time anyway. A seeing eye dog would be a major leap forward for some managers.


  3. Olivier Raiman says:

    Lucky already if central banks and big gov dont not break our second leg! By increasing taxes…

    • Les says:

      Hi Olivier,

      Unfortunately that tends to be the knee-jerk reaction when Governments run out of money. The rest of us cut back on our spending, but that is rarely an option to those in power.

      I like Sean’s definition of the new austerity as “having to live within our means”.


  4. Sean Le Leprichaun says:

    Les, It never ceases to amaze me how people look to government to fix the problem and that is the problem. It should be noted that The French government has spent more that it has recieved in each of the last 30 consecutive years (and it is not alone). If we as individuals tried this feat the bank manager would block our cards after a couple of months max. Yet collectively we can do it under the guise of Government which of course is us anyway. It sickens me to hear about “austerity” measures – i guess there is a new definition of austerity soon to be released by the Oxford dictionary that will state the austerity is now defined as living within your means. Between 1939 and 1955 austerity measures were a little more severe than this . I personally am doing my bit by not buying Lafite 2009 en primeur at 500+ euros a bottle. Thanks for taking the time to go blogging – cheers Sean.

    • Les says:

      Hi Sean,
      I couldn’t agree more…. We can’t look to Government to fix the problem as in most countries Government is a large part of the problem.
      I love your definition of austerity as “living within our means”…. I will plagiarise it for future use.

  5. Elena says:

    Dear Les,
    I love the block… and I love your “one leg story”…
    I agree with Olivier that things could also get worse… but whoever is scared, does not move… whether he has one or two legs… he stays at the same place because he does not wan to make any mistake…
    Let’s walk…

  6. Very insightful Les. Thanks for your comments. Think ill go buy a pogo stick so I can bounce my way through. Reading on the mobile version & it’s not too bad. Keep it up. I look forward to future posts.

  7. Peltier says:

    Bonsoir, Leslie,

    Mais peut-être que bientôt votre unijambiste aura une nouvelle jambe, grace aux travaux sur les cellules de souche. Le problème est qu’il risque quand même d’attendre 10 ou 20 ans…alors il n’aura plus besoin peut-être de sa jambe…

  8. Eric Rubino says:

    Les loved your one leg blog. Agree 100%. You always had, and still have, much to offer so your blog is welcomed. Your loyal fan. Eric PS Best to Victoria.

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