This is quite unreal.
A month ago, I faced a very busy September and early October, and was out on the road keynoting a wide variety of events – a leadership event for a global law firm; an economic development conference; a symposium on consumer trends; a commercial real estate conference; a leadership session for a major bank and another for a telecom company; an event for a life insurance company; a meeting of pharmaceutical marketing executives; a food services company; a tourism conference; and many others — all as the economic twists and turns evolved at a furious pace. Tomorrow, I’m off to New York to open a conference for professionals in the field of photography. More on that later.
All of these talks were immediately recast on the spot, to provide an outline of how the economy was going to evolve from this point out — and how executives within these organizations should be thinking about the future in order to innovate ahead of fast-paced events.
The message has resonated in a huge way — right now, people are clamoring for insight into the idea of “what comes next, and what should we do about it?” I have been stunned by the discussions post-presentation; I think the message of opportunity, and the necessity to quickly get beyond our economic shock and do things, is resonating in a huge way.
Having said that, my original suspicion during the last month of travels was that I was likely to see a slowdown in my own business, as organizations reacted and retrenched in light of the obvious recession around us.
I can now say that my suspicions were quite incorrect. In the last few weeks, I have seen a substantial – and I mean substantial — number of queries for events, and a significant increase is confirmed bookings, from organizations who have decided that now is the time to focus on trends and the future, and to focus on how to establish an innovative mindset to get there intact.
There are several sources of new business:
- CEO’s running a leadership session, previously planned or just now being scheduled, and who now realize that they need an expert who can focus on “what’s really going on with the global economy, and what do we need to do to stay out in front.”
- association executives who understand that in 2009, their members need a message of hope and inspiration, with specific, real, concrete guidance on how they can innovate their way out of this thing, and stay ahead of fast paced events
- mid-level managers who understand that now is a critical time to change the capabilities, agility, culture, and attitude of their team in order to maintain customer service excellence, customer retention levels, and other critical measures of success.
- marketing executives who realize that it is actually a good time to get in front of their customers with a clear, unequivocal message about their value, and how they can assist their customers as a partner.
The list goes on. Suffice it to say, I think this recession is going to be different from all others. The tag line for my Ready, Set, Done book was “how to innovate when faster is the new fast.”
I think that’s why!