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  • The Recovery Is Harder Than the Recession


    Posted on July 27, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Brand Thinking from Greenfield/Belser

    The Great Recession was hard enough. We had to let good people go. My guess is you did, too. We know marketing departments were decimated in general. All that was painful and grossly unfair. Who would have thought the recovery could be harder? Stressful times when the entire world worried about survival, jobs, the future.

    Having cut near to the bone, the strengths and weaknesses of those who remain stand in high relief as work flows in again. Those newly-revealed strengths are as surprising as the weaknesses, causing alternatively smiles and frowns. It’s interesting. Delightful. Depressing. And stressful.

    As we staff up (hiring six people in just six weeks), the nature of the stress has changed. We’ve got the manpower but new hires have got to be trained in the way we do things. No organization does things quite like the other. For a while, they’ll be useful only in varying degrees before they kick into high gear no matter how smart or competent they are. At every level, people are working double time—doing their jobs and training the new. This is stressful.

    The newbies also need to be integrated into the firm’s culture, recognizing that such a rapid influx of new people also changes the culture in subtle ways yet to be understood. That integration is stressful, too.

    Managing cash flow and other business challenges seems almost child’s play by comparison. And no amount of stress coming out of a recession makes life during a severe recession seem any less bleak. It’s great to be on the mend. Great to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But who would have thought recovery would arrive with its own set of challenges?

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Burkey Belser

Burkey Belser

Burkey Belser, president and creative director, pioneered legal services marketing. He has been quoted on brand design topics by dozens of industry publications and is highly rated as a speaker on topics from branding to information design.