2011 was bad. 2012 is prophesised to be the year of our ultimate doom. While some of us are worrying about the future, Dick Funk, author of “Business in Bad, Bad Times” is looking forward to 2013. Guest Contributor Bobby Hennigan read the book for us, but was too stunned by its contents to write a review. Instead, he came speechless into the Humourisms.com office and handed us these photo-copied excerpts.
A look at history tells a sobering story for those of us “in business”. The Black Death saw the population of Europe decline by 40%. Sales dropped by even more. Measles and other diseases wiped out 100 million Native South Americans. More importantly, it brought commerce in The Americas to its knees. On the other hand, Tsunamis and Earthquakes are a source of serious ch-ching for the construction industry. The lesson? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Talk of doom in 2012 may be premature, but from a business point of view it’s important to be prepared for the worst eventualities. So, let’s make a couple of assumptions for business’s sake:
- In December 2012, the world will endure horrors of immeasurable and unprecedented magnitude. Rape, pestilence and genocide will cease to form part of our vernacular as they will simply become the staple of everyday living. Despair will replace ecstasy at the top of the emotional spectrum and new words will be coined for all the new horrors below it. The skies will darken, the seas will boil and the blister of mankind will rupture on the face of Mother Earth.
- The companies that are best prepared for this eventually will be the ones still turning a profit in January 2013.
3 STEPS TO SUCCESS IN 2013
Motivating your staff can be tough at the best of times, but what do you do when your underlings are daydreaming of such horrors as are inevitable. Here are some ideas for dealing with them:
It might be advisable to take your team on a Survival Weekend. Survival weekends are popular in business anyway, so some of your staff may question what sets your particular Survival Weekend apart from the others. So, as well as the common survival exercise like fire lighting and communicating etc…you may want to up the ante by giving your team some additional survival training that may become immediately practical.
Consider providing the following additional survival modules:
(1) Boat-Making From Rubble
(2) Maximising Profits From The “Oldest Occupation”
(3) The Multiple Uses Of The Human Skull – From Digging Device to Soup Bowl
(4) Which Kid To Sell And How To Make That Sale? (Recommended Viewing: Sophie’s Choice and Glengarry Glen Ross)
General Electric CEO Jack Welch espouses the idea of promoting the top 20%, keeping the middle 70% and firing the bottom 10% of any given workforce. These proportions will definitely need some adjusting as Doom approaches, keeping 10% and firing the rest may make more sense. But, I digress. The point is, a high stakes efficiency drive should sort the Alphas in your team from the Omegas. Once the safety nets of the dole queue or a future are eliminated, you will be amazed at how innovative and efficient your staff can be.
Menial workers can lack imagination. So getting them to understand the horrors that lie ahead may prove difficult unless you employ some solid imagery to get the message across. Consider the following as a primary example of a motivation poster for 2012:
At this moment in time, trying to imagine how to reward your staff in 2013 is difficult to say the least. Reward may mean the extension of a privilege (Good work Jim! Take some time off to see where your family are buried) or something practical (Good work Jill! We’ve booked you in for a manicure when your nails grow back) But in reality, we’ll just have to wait until 2013 to see what sort of rewards suit the prevailing climate. Perhaps in 2013 we will live in a world where reward is unheard of as the world is transformed into a sort of Managerial Utopia. Who knows!
Remember, these are just some of the changes you can make. As December draws in, don’t be afraid to take a more stringent approach to your staff and your business. Some may call you a “reactionary”, then latterly “a dictator” and towards the end “a sociopath”. But remember, these are just names. Let’s see who’s still in business in 2013!
Bobby Hennigan is a comedian living in Galway. He can be found on twitter at @BobbyHennigan.