From 2007 to 2009 the U.S. was mired in the longest and deepest recession of the post-World War II era. It featured the largest decline in output, consumption and investment, and the largest increase in unemployment of any post-war recession. On the calendar it lasted 18 months. I think most would agree it’s ripple effect continues to plague businesses across the country. During that year and a half most companies slashed jobs causing those who remained to take on the work of their departed co-workers. Since the economy has perked up it’s my perception that few of the jobs were added back and workers continue to struggle with expanded workloads.
There are lots of advantages to remaining lean, most of which are short term. The picture gets a little cloudier when you are looking toward the future. Based on my conversations, the vast majority of business leaders have their heads down, focused on today’s business today. They are spending little time in Covey’s Quadrant II which I believe could have ill effects for some of them down the road. Maybe business leaders should get together and review Covey’s Time Management Quadrants which in and of itself is an “Important and Not Urgent” activity. The following description of that quadrant says it all.
“When an action is Important and Not Urgent it is usually EVERYTHING that improves your business and your life. It is Important, but not Urgent. However, these are almost always the actions that make or break us in terms of success or failure like personal development, improving relationships, taking advantage of new opportunities, empowering others, planning, preparation and problem prevention.” –Stephen Covey
Is it time to reevaluate where you are spending your time?