Warren Buffet is more courteous than most: “It’s only when the tide goes out”, he said, “that you learn who’s been swimming naked.”

Remember Enron? – Things were great for a while. Investors were giddy with excitement at the way the stock price continued to climb in a rising tide. However, the tide went out and the problems began to surface. Not only was Enron swimming naked, it was doing it in a public area!

The day to day reality of a recession is not as amusing. In good times, a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’; in a recession the tide goes out, and some boats get left high, dry, and out of the game.

In order to survive you need to stay focused on the horizon, reallocate resources, cut the fat and fight for every inch of progress. Indulgences are sacrificed (we recently gave up our monthly Nespresso subscription) and allies become your brothers in a fight bigger than any one company; together you understand that you must perform.

But you do not compromise your values, not never! Soft headed individuals will tell you that its high time you make the comprise that will secure a a short term victory. Don’t believe it. Recessions redefine companies and your strategy for survival is key.

In this time of change 23 Degrees North aren’t creating new values, we’re merely reinforcing and refining our original ones, the values on which we formed the company (and which we had, temporarily, forgot.) We have friends and allies now – clients, consultants, contractors, suppliers, each other – who come back to us for that reason alone, and who will stay with us as long as we remain faithful to our promises and true to our values.

We are sending this message out into the ‘marketplace’ to all SME’s in the region who are struggling to stay afloat in a time when (quite literally) we are in danger of being washed away. To anyone who reads this you should know that not only are we not going to compromise –  we are going to reinforce our core values as our key strategic weapon in these turbulent waters  – and so should you.

We have no intention of swimming naked or getting caught in a storm. See you on the other side.

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