Friday, 17 February 2012

Finding an eye in the storm

Predictions by public bodies and economists warn that 2012 will be even more austere than 2011. The Economist Intelligence Unit ( is predicting with very high probability and very high impact that the global economy will fall into recession. They declare that “lacking the scope for more fiscal stimulus, developed countries could level off into a lengthy period of deflation and stagnation”.

The skies are darkening: there are turbulent and stormy times ahead. At moments like this, all leaders make a choice. Leaders can choose gloom and (to continue the metaphor) batten down the hatches as the bad weather approaches. Other leaders will choose to look beyond the clouds and acknowledge that whilst this will be a time for careful action, it is still a time to look forward. And it is in these moments that these great leaders paint pictures of what can and must be.

Pictures are very powerful. It is said that when Turner painted “Slavers throwing overboard the dead and dying — typhon coming on" he was assisting the abolitionist cause. Equally there are many pictures that have inspired people to do more than they would ever thought possible. And these can be word pictures as well: “we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches...”

My suggestion is that it is your job to paint a picture (in words or colours or both) of where you expect your team and organisation to be once the storm has passed. It is our view that having such a palpable vision will help you and your colleagues weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

What is in your picture?

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