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June 30, 2009

Daniel Tschudy:Living a good crisis

Good things come of all recessions, believes meetings consultant Daniel Tschudy, not least that they initiate a cleansing process whereby only the seriously committed survive. Maybe the football world should take note!

The crisis is lingering on, and early hopes that this year will see a quick turnaround from what started late last summer have vanished. It will need more time, more strength, more efforts and more patience.

Some industries are better off (for example healthcare), and others are still suffering heavily (banking, finances). Some regions have a powerful domestic demand to balance a weak foreign trade (mostly the three BRIC-states Brazil, India and China), while other countries are disoriented and need more than just a ‘lucky punch’ (I guess the US would fit for this category). Some industries suffer severely in one market (for example the automotive industry in North America) and flourish in others (in China, with a predicted 10% growth this year).

One thing remains constant: while some people and companies obviously suffer on a personal basis, the crisis is valuable too, and for a good reason. Ideally, only prepared and committed companies survive a crisis that lasts for more than just a couple of months. Only companies that prepare well for bad times during their successful periods will be fit to stay on, or even to grow. Only companies that remain vigilant during profitable periods, have concepts ready to adjust when business is going down.

A cleansing process
So each crisis is also good, because it separates the focused and seriously committed from the rest. Each crisis launches a cleansing process, that separates good from bad. It is each manager’s responsibility – not only for shareholder, but also for staff-value – to make sure they are among the well-prepared, the good, the serious and, therfore, the survivors.

I am not sure though if everybody understands this responsibility. Look at the football industry for instance: while the majority of professional clubs regularly and repeatedly lose money, some of them are still acting outrageously and without any long-term focus. The £80 million which Real Madrid is offering for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo is equally irresponsible as those incredible bonuses in the banking world.

Speaking in China, Sir Bobby Charlton said: "It seems a little bit vulgar". Yes, indeed it does. One could say that this is “the market’s requirement”, but I say: what is really wrong with this amount is that at the same time, Real Madrid has obtained a staggering £150 million loan from two Spanish banks. This is gambling, nothing else. A boy’s game maybe, but not serious business behavior.

Perhaps this crisis should hit the global football industry a bit stronger, so that the cleansing process could be even more rigorous.

Daniel Tschudy provides expert advise, in-depth consulting and educational support to the global communication, meetings and tourism industries. www.tschudy.com

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