Monday, June 1, 2009

Flat is the New Growth


"Flat is the new growth". I heard this expression the other day, and I thought it was witty.

And then I started to really think about it and I thought is was kind of depressing...and dangerous.

I'm a realist (mostly). Well at least I read the paper (when I've finished the crossword) and I know what's going on. Times are tough. But I don't think we can let that be an excuse for complacency.

Flat may be what the markets are aspiring to, but "Flat" should never become the accepted standard for innovation.

We need to keep pressing on and moving upward, even when it feels like an uphill battle. Actually, especially when it feels like an uphill battle.

These are time of great unrest, but from this turbulence can come some fantastic ideas. The trick is to embrace the uncertainty and use it as a force of liberation and not of stagnation.

After all, it won't always be like this. But if for now expectations are low, think how incredibly easy it is to exceed them. It may just be the perfect time to take a risk.

Many categories have quieted down in terms of spending and activity. You can make a big bang for a little buck right now.

Not that long ago I was at the launch of Virgin America's new service to Boston. Amid all the speeches from the celebrities and politicians that were at the launch, one statement really struck a chord.

The head of Massport thanked Virgin for opening a route to Boston in these rocky times. Not just because of the business and jobs it would bring to the city ...but also for the signal it sent to the consumers that life and business were moving on.

He stressed how important it was for consumer confidence for companies to keep investing and innovating and that actions like the Boston launch send a powerful, tangible message.

Consider an action you've been hesitating about in your business. Why not go ahead and start the ball rolling? What have you got to lose?

I believe that negative thinking breeds negative actions and that positive momentum can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That's my point of view. What's your twist?

How are you taking advantage of the current lull to shake things up?

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for taking a stand on 'flat is the new growth'. This requires no courage, and encourages resignation. I like your 'embrace uncertainty' and would add the twist - 'learn to love dancing in the chaos'. Maybe we could question the paradigm of 'growth' - invention, innovation, new thinking may be sourced in another paradigm. We could also examine the illusion of certainty.

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  2. Julie@BrandTwistJune 1, 2009 at 6:40 PM

    I love "dance in the chaos". If it were a bumper sticker I'd put it on my car. Thanks for sharing.

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