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The 2008 Recession is Much Different
  • May 27, 2022

I wrote the following post for my business blog in 2008. We were in the midst of an economic recession and hopefully you can read how different any recession could be if it happens in 2022

Lean and Mean is a phrase I remember used back in my Material Management days and today we hear it used more and more in Manufacturing with Lean Processes and Inventory (or no inventory) Management systems. Having lived through other recession periods, I’m starting to hear the old battle cry from Business Managers and the Self Employed of; ‘Lean and Mean at all costs’. Essentially what I’m really hearing is…employees can be sacrificed and taken advantage of at all costs.

Granted, that during times of great growth or success a business gets fat and a recession can be an opportunity to trim fat. But trimming to the bone is going too far. I’m a strong believer that a company is only as good as its employees and generally its employees are only as good as its management.

A synergistic management team that cascades down ideas and asks questions and allows open creative discussion between all staff and, has continuous training, will always succeed. Conversely, a management team that is afraid to speak for fear of losing their job and/or led by an over controlling manager will fail.

In this time of economic stress we need to trim fat, yes, but we also need to recognize the best in our staff and allow them to have ideas. Ideas that might foster other ideas in a true brain storming fashion and thus find new and innovative ways to cut costs, improve efficiencies and increase sales, etc. Lean and mean at all costs should not mean taking advantage of your staff by fear of loss of employment. In the end you may be out on the streets yourself, looking for a job.

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