Seeing the current downturn as a bunch of statistics is easy, tempting, and almost useless, observes Geoff Colvin in The Upside of the Downturn: Ten management strategies to prevail in the recession and thrive in the aftermath ( This recession is constantly talked about as some kind of freestanding event, but thinking of it that way won’t help you manage it, he instructs. “Think of it instead as just one episode — a big, dramatic one — in a continuing narrative, a story without beginning or end. This episode will play out, and another will follow, very differently from what most people were expecting just a year ago.”

The worsening economy can pit you against companies that you didn’t previously regard as competitors, Colvin cautions.

“For example, five-star hotels are cutting prices as lots of travellers decide they can sleep just as soundly in a midrange hotel, forcing those categories to compete against each other much more than before.”

Three dimensions of specialised intelligence

If you can assimilate past experience, cultivate intuition, and gain big-picture perspective about your endeavours, you can be assured of specialised intelligence in your area of peak performance, says Brad Kearns in How Lance Does It: Put the success formula of a champion into everything you do (

Assimilate past experience, both success and failure, in a positive and empowering manner, Kearns advises.

Alas, “Most of the general population live a life filled with repeated mistakes and have difficulty with behaviour modification.”

In contrast, the athlete has a learning forum so dramatic that it becomes a huge advantage and catalyst for positive change, the author notes.

D. Murali

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 6, 2009)
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