Every Cloud has a silver lining!
So the saying goes…. And we need to start focusing on our economic silver lining soon, or we are going to talk ourselves into more and more doom and gloom
There is no doubt that the last few years have been difficult and as a nation we have had to get grips with the global financial crisis and all that means for us. I have read conflicting reports about how it’s going to get worse vs we are on the cusp of change for the better.
I am not an economic forecaster so I have no strong views about how deep or how long the economic downturn will impact on all of us. There is much faith being put in business start-ups and wealth creation via the private sector and claw backs in public spending. I am getting clear messages about the process we are going through in order to balance the books.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard from a young mum of three. In a downsizing by her husband’s company he lost his job after one interview. He had been in the job for 14 years, and loved it. Now I don’t know the detail, so I don’t judge. And I know such hard decisions have to be made if the money simply isn’t there. I would also say though that I had used services provided by the organisation and he was dedicated, enthusiastic and went the extra mile. As you can imagine there was shock, indignation and anger from his friends and relatives.
We all know the business reasoning about Remploy, and why the government has decided to untangle what seems to be viewed as an outdated segregated remedy by the disability bodies. It is also making a colossal loss. But seeing those people talking about their fears not knowing what is going to happen in the future was heart-breaking. The theory is that employers will be given financial incentives to help these people and more to secure employment. Will this happen in reality? I’m not sure.
I am all for facing up to the reality of any unpalatable truth we may have to accept. I know that it’s important that we all know why hard decisions like the above are made. I think as a nation, we do actually get the message. We need now however to refocus, and we need to refocus on the silver lining.
In the two situations above, those decisions appear harsh and inhuman without making sure that the people affected had some hope about what their options might be in the future. We are not reporting well enough, that vital step. Any change strategy, including downsizing in any shape or form is poorly executed unless before the decision is made to cut jobs or change course, the fears and possibilities for the people involved have been explored and articulated. There has to be a plan B for everyone.
And so instead of the process, we need to focus on the vision for the future. We need to focus on the silver lining, but what might that be? Well it might not be apparent yet, but here are a few ideas.
- As a nation, we are learning to be more financially responsible
- We are becoming more efficient
- We are driving up the quality of services
- We are learning resilience in the face of adversity
- We can show that we are strong and are able to reinvent ourselves
Ok, not a long list yet, but I’m sure there are more to be identified, as we learn from the situation we find ourselves in. The main message for everyone needs to be one of hope. If this doesn’t start coming soon then we will be a nation sapped of our energy, enthusiasm and commitment.
So let’s start and see if we can find the silver lining. Let us shift the balance and focus on and celebrate successes. For people who are facing hardship and a loss of way of life, let’s make sure we can create meaningful options where everyone wins in the end. Let’s tell the story of how great our workers are and how dedicated and efficient they can be. These factors are all there, we are just not looking at them.
There is no doubt about it, if we focus on and celebrate hope and success, the results will surely follow.
What do you think? Do you think we need to be more positive about the change we are going through? Do you think a shift in focus is needed at this time? Let us know we would love to hear from you.
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