Well we are in the doldrums economically; however we are not going to remain there as the human requirement to drive forward to seek better times begins to take effect. Quite simply when you are the bottom of a well you have two choices drown or start climbing and I believe that we are now beginning our ascent. So as we emerge into a brave new world that will be very different from all that has gone before how are we preparing for it?

Most businesses are anchored in the world of current balance sheets, reducing overheads and expenses, laying off staff and acquiring investment. All of which can have a severe negative impact on a business and its ethos,   few have had the sense to take stock of their position strategically and seize the moment. A former Prime minister who lived through harder times once said:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. – Winston Churchill

So how do we seize the current moment for sure the economic recovery will be slow and for sure the competition will be tough and getting tougher and better. So how do you stand out as an organisation that gives added value?

People buy from people, people do business with people so the answer is there: Develop your people in preparation for the new world, develop your people to take your organisation forward, develop your people to show that you care and are prepared to invest in their futures as well as your own. Customers not bosses are the ones who ultimately pay wages unless you are fortunate enough to have found a generous benefactor.

I am constantly amazed at the lack of preparedness of UK companies to train their staff to gain competitive advantage. UK companies normally train to conform to legislation. A bout 80% of training is paid for by government subsidies and the popular belief is that government funds training. Unfortunately most of this training is below NVQ level 3.  Companies don’t train when they are busy- because there isn’t the time and don’t train when they are slack – because there isn’t the money. Yet if an organisation wants to recover or better its market position in the face of improving competition now is the time to train. Now is the time to give staff the tool set and the culture to provide an organisation with the competitive advantage. Particularly in a future world that is quickly looking very different from the one that took us to the current recession. We have to do something positive to seize the opportunity.

As that same Prime Minister said:

For myself I am an optimist- it does not seem to be much use being anything else” Winston Churchill

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