An interesting report by Economics Editor Chris Giles in this morning’s FT, that ‘data show that confidence is down but consumer and business behavious tells another story’. He suggests that ‘the gap between action and sentiment puts the economy at a tipping point’.
We are certainly seeing this day to day: work continues, but ask anyone about what happens next and the outlook is decidedly gloomy. At a lavish corporate event last week, to which I took one of my daughters, she was most surprised not by the artwork on display but by, to her, the incongruity of unlimited champagne and the chorus of doom-sayers quaffing it.
There are various steps that we can take in our practices to see us through the slowdown, whether it be long or short. In an email circular last month, Nick Jarrett-Kerr of Kerma Partners, identified “where partners should be spending their time during a market turndown” as
- skills building
- steam-lining and re-engineering work
- getting even closer to clients
- getting involved in internal projects
- motivating and developing their precious assets [their teams]
Most partners see fee-earning as their key task, and in most practices this is the case, but, as Jarrett-Kerr notes, ‘the silver lining in the recessional cloud may be that at last the excuses have been removed for partners avoiding to engage in valuable non chargeable work’.