Let us not be cooked this Frog

28 Aug

Read­ing time: 3 — 5 minutes

By Denis Pom­bri­ant on 28 Feb­ru­ary 2011 Image credit: www.nwlean.net

You know the his­tory of boil­ing a frog.  Throw a frog in a pot with boil­ing water and the bail out, but put the same frog in a pot of cold water and increase the heat slowly and the frog does not have the means to save himself.

They are the two most com­mon response to crises — acute and chronic.  The Frog reacts to the acute cri­sis and live, but fails to mount an appro­pri­ate response to the chronic cri­sis and per­ishes.  This phe­nom­e­non is not lim­ited to frogs, actu­ally, we have enshrined the idea in com­mon lan­guage usage.  Ever heard any­one say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

The prob­lem with wait some­thing like in the mod­ern world is that, when miss­ing, it will often dis­as­trous.  And while we respond to dis­as­ter response is often more expen­sive and more dev­as­tat­ing than if the answer is done when the prob­lem was sim­ply chronic.

So per­haps gift con­tri­bu­tion a city or a State main­te­nance on a bridge just because the money is not avail­able, and no one can stom­ach the fight to raise taxes.  There is a min­i­mum of secu­rity or addi­tional tol­er­ance, built-in in most Engi­neer­ing things as bridges but even­tu­ally if left alone, the mar­gin is exceeded, and you end up with a bridge into a river.  We have seen it hap­pen before.

But this col­umn isn’t about bridges, it is about CRM and even here the frog has some­thing to teach us.  Two years ago so we trans­port fuel prices to increase to lev­els that stran­gled from eco­nomic growth.  We had a reces­sion — brought by other fac­tors, as well as — but we sur­vived.  We are now see­ing energy prices climb again almost the same level so we most recently in 2008.  There is a direct cor­re­la­tion between increased eco­nomic activ­ity and energy.  Increased energy con­sump­tion is a barom­e­ter of eco­nomic health but increas­ing prices is not only cause infla­tion and sti­fle off growth.

Last week we saw gaso­line prices increase by twenty cents in most areas and now food prices take a hit from the com­bined high price trans­port and bad weather.  The sit­u­a­tion is sim­i­lar to a chronic cri­sis mor­ph­ing into some­thing urgent.  There is no sil­ver bul­let for this sit­u­a­tion, but there are many small steps that we can all take to avert the worst effects of a crisis.

In busi­ness, we can all see and find ways that are quite easy to reduce our busi­ness processes, the need for trans­port.  Name some that vir­tual con­fer­ences, Uni­fied Mes­sag­ing servers to vir­tual com­mu­ni­ca­tion, video pro­duced to sup­port sales, mar­ket­ing and ser­vice and do not for­get ana­lyt­ics and social media.  There are also new work strate­gies for mix­ing some job func­tions bet­ter exploit these technologies.

It is all the low hang­ing fruit and in this way that free mar­kets work nor the man­ner in which they must work.  Many peo­ple exam­ine their own sit­u­a­tions and then eval­u­ate new strate­gies and avail­able solu­tions, a cri­sis can be avoided.  But we must aban­don the mid set artist us from cri­sis to cri­sis and to accept the idea that even absent a gen­uine dis­as­ter is some­thing bro­ken.  If enough of us take this approach, we can gen­er­ate the impe­tus, we need to grow the econ­omy and turn adver­sity into advantage.

(Cross-posted @ Bea­gle Research Group, LLC)Posted in Busi­ness | Tagged boil frog, crm, finance, energy |