The Dow is down to 7387.02, the banks are full of toxic debt, and the housing market is an utter mess. The unemployment rate for January was 7.6% and still climbing, and home resales fell 5.3% in January. The story is full of doom and gloom and yet we have seen this before, we have survived, and some of us have even succeeded or benefitted during these times.
I remembered some work I had completed during 2003 and thought it was time to pull out the data. Here is an excerpt from that report:
The past three years are marked as the worst stretch for corporate profitability since the 1970’s. During this period, the average company in the S&P 500 has seen profits decline at a rate of 9.4% per year. However, against such a challenging backdrop, the average company on Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list increased their revenues by 36% a year and earnings by 46%. (Fortune 08.11.2003)
These companies that had double digit growth in profit and revenue came from every industry and accomplished this performance during a time the internet bubble had burst and 9/11 had badly battered our economy.
In today’s world, it seems more challenging than ever to accomplish our goals. Of course, when we try to understand the source of the challenges, we all turn to the usual suspects: globalization, increased competition, tighter budgets, a renegotiated relationship between employees and employers, and so on. But those are all outside forces—many of which we are unable to influence, let alone change. What can we change…only ourselves. And by changing ourselves, we can more effectively change others. To truly influence the bottom line, we need to influence those who can impact the bottom line–that is what distinguishes company performance, and we can see it in Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list.
Has your company retrenched its efforts?
To what extent is your organization using these economic conditions to gain market share?
If so, how is your organization keeping everyone focused and engaged?
Let me know.