Managing: 5 Lessons from winter

Written by Ian Portsmouth

If you’re going to live through a Canadian winter, you might as well make the best of it. Enterprising Canucks take to the toboggan runs, ski hills and snowmobile trails once the snow flies; smart companies use the time and resources freed up by a slowdown to reimagine their strategies, rethink their processes and reassign their people.

nWinter is just like recession in that each arrives eventually — so, it always pays to prepare for one. Do the necessary before things turn cold and you’ll get more easily through the season and have fewer things to fix when things start to warm up again.

n Just because it’s cold in Canada doesn’t mean it’s cold everywhere else. So, next time a frost falls on your industry or geographical market, think like a snowbird and head for new territory. Because for every market that’s freezing up, there’s probably one that’s heating up.

nIt pays to keep employees happy. During the 1978-79 “Winter of Discontent,” tens of thousands of unionized workers in the U.K. — from truck drivers to gravediggers — went on strike to demand massive pay hikes and protest government moves to limit wage increases to 5% per year. General chaos ensued, and the ruling Labour Party set itself up for defeat by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives a few months later.

n How valuable is intuition? Most successful entrepreneurs say that when it comes to business, you should always follow your gut — like you should have that frigid day a kid dared you to stick your tongue on a metal pole. — Ian Portsmouth

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com