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How Great Companies Turn Crisis Into Opportunity

| January 26, 2009

by Jim Bruce

In the current issue of Fortune Magazine, Jim Collins is interviewed by Fortune Senior Writer Jennifer Reingold for the article “How Great Companies Turn Crisis Into Opportunity”.

Collins has spent much of his career in understanding how companies succeed.  For the past several years, he has been focusing on how successful companies navigate through turbulent times.  Much of this work on successful companies is very relevant to the university.  This interview provides information that is no less so.  As I read the piece, there were three points that held my attention:

1.  What really matters in getting through tough times is that you have core values that you preserve, consistently over time and particularly when times are difficult.

2.  That it is the caliber of an organization’s staff that gets the organization through the tough times.  Collins says that you know these people because they know what to do, they make commitments, and they deliver on those commitments.  These are the “keepers” and also the ones you should be seeking to hire.

3.  You have to ensure that you set aside the resources that that you need to prevail, not just to survive.  That means you have to set priorities, and act on them, that not only preserve your core businesses but also enable you to more forward.

Reflecting on Collins’ points would be a worthwhile task as you seek to identify next steps for your turbulent times.


.  .  .  .  .   jim