I'm back! A new beginning.

Greetings! As you can see, it's been awhile since my last blog post. Don't take it personally, I've been busy. OK, that is maybe not the best excuse but we have been consumed with working to accelerate our business, so I gave up the blogging for a bit.

It's a new year, and so I hope you, your family, and your business have a great 2009.
Some might say it is more appropriate to say, "I hope your business survives 2009." Make no mistake – these are tough times, but as I've said before, this down economy provides opportunities for leaders to re-examine their business strategies for new ways to not just survive but thrive and grow during this brutal stretch we're facing. I truly believe times of uncertainty can lead to new opportunities.

So here is my advice for thriving in 2009 – it is pretty simple – just do three things.

CONTINUE TO INVEST – Give your company a "stimulus" done right. Go ahead and make the changes necessary to insure your operations are the most competitive and productive. In fact, there has never been a better time to retool for the future. While I am sure there is a ton of waste in this recent US government stimulus package, I was most pleased to see at least some investments proposed for technology-based productivity and efficiency improvements. These are the right investments that can speed recovery and set us up for long term growth.
    
FIND A FEW STRATEGIC PARTNERS – Now is not the time to take unnecessary risks in terms of partnering - work with leaders (market leaders, thought leaders, innovators), those who are driving and adhering to industry standards. Look for companies who have customers similar to you or ones who admire. Work with vendors you can trust.

WORK BOTTOMS UP (not tops down) – When I turn on the TV today for the latest dose of bad news, it is hard to imagine thriving in this economy, but you can with the right approach. The problem with the tops-down view is that it can paralyze an organization from taking any action at all. A bottoms up view, however, provides countless opportunities to augment investments in customer, employee and products/services functions – they're all still there, ready for positive change. Use this time as an opportunity to view (and review) your business through different lenses. Don't let the ongoing funeral on CNBC freeze up your ability to act!

Within CMA, I am excited about all of the changes we have made to reinvent our business over the past few months. All of this positive activity did curtail my blogging time (which I do consider to be highly valuable, and hope you do as well). In coming posts I will tell you what we are doing to change the face of our industry and how we will help you leverage your information better than ever before.

Mark...

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