Why A Recession Mindset Is Holding You Back

is a recession mindset holding you back?

Life moves fast these days. Faster than at any time in human history. We're seeing rapid changes in science, technology, health, lifestyle, social issues and many more. 

In fact, there's progression in almost every area.

But many people still cling to a recession mindset. They hold tight to the purse strings, unable to move forward.

Technology is the driving force behind most businesses. Whether it's digital transformation, organisation-wide integration, or communication with supplier and customer systems. 

Yet, many companies still refuse to take technology seriously. 

Instead, they look for cheap or free alternatives. They’re stuck in a recession mindset. They’re so concerned with saving costs; they prevent their companies from moving forwards confidently. 

All Too Often, People Are Expected to Do More with Less

I supply test tools that help with software projects. I have done for a long time. Throughout my career, I've seen many shifts in the market. 

One thing has always struck me though; people who can shift their mindset are able to thrive in any situation. 

A lot of companies and people are still suffering the mental effects of the 2007-2008 credit crunch and the “do more with less” mantra. 

In this article I'm to going to look at the recession mindset, and why it could be holding you back. I'm going to focus on software projects. They're a major economic focus for most companies. It's also an area I know inside out. 

In 2007 We Started Asking - Can We Do it Cheaper?

The 2007 credit crunch was 14 years ago. The subsequent recession undoubtedly hit some companies and individuals hard. The steady flow of finance dried up and everyone had to tighten their belts.

Credit dried up, many companies reduced spending and the whole approach to projects changed. The pain was felt immediately after the crunch, even before the full financial impact was known. People became more cautious overnight. 

Projects were mothballed or cancelled. Staff were let go or had pay cuts. Almost everyone started to ask the question, "Can we do it cheaper?". 

At the time this was the right question. Cutting corners and settling for adequate was appropriate while we all took stock. But the credit crunch was a long time ago. 

Today You Need to Ask - Can We Do it Faster?

Nowadays, the game has changed. We're no longer looking to outlast the competition. To survive, we all need to constantly evolve.   Today you must be like the apocryphal shark, you need to move forward or die. 

The competition is always adapting, and you need to keep pace. Today, "Can we do it cheaper?" is the wrong question. You need to ask, "Can we do it faster?". 

In the world of software projects, 5 years is a long time. A decade is a lifetime. 14 years… well that's practically another era altogether.

There Have Been Many Post-Recession Success Stories

Since the credit crunch, many companies have been incredibly successful. To highlight just a few:

  • 2007 Netflix started streaming
  • 2008 Airbnb founded
  • 2009 Uber, WhatsApp and Bitcoin launched
  • 2010 Apple started selling the first iPad
  • 2012 Tesla debuted the Model S

These successes all share a common trait. They were built on solid investment in technological solutions. They learned how to do things faster. Failing faster, succeeding faster and ultimately growing faster than their competition. 

On the flip side, you had the cautious companies who were afraid and unwilling to invest. Kodak, Blockbuster, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and many others. They didn't move forward, didn't invest in technology. They quickly became failed relics.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Why A Recession Mindset Is Holding You Back

Despite the runaway successes mentioned above, many companies and people are still held back by a recession mindset. Afraid to move forward. Afraid to invest in the right areas. 

This lack of investment could be damaging your company's, and your own success. 

For the cautious, austerity can seem temping. Especially when faced with seeming uncertainty. Though, fortune really does favour the brave. 

We’ve seen so many successes over the last 14 years. Most of them driven by adaptability, dynamism. Successful people, and companies, that can make rapid changes.  They have all invested in people and systems.

Successful Business Think about Investment, Not Spending

Spending is seen as a negative word by many, seen as waste.  If you are trying to persuade a budget holder to spend money, don’t be surprised when they say no. 

Investment is seen as something that will provide immediate or future benefits, something positive.  Of course, before you ask for investment, you need to make sure of the benefits. 

Today we need to do things faster. You need to invest in the right solutions. You need to accelerate change in your organisation.   You need to shake off the recession mindset.

Stephen Davis
by Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is the founder of Calleo Software, a Micro Focus (formerly HPE Software) Gold Partner. His passion is to help test professionals improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software testing.

To view Stephen's LinkedIn profile and connect 

Stephen Davis LinkedIn profile

5th October 2021

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