There was a great piece by Robert Weisman in the Sunday Globe yesterday highlighting some lessons learned from the last recession. It described how Akamai Technologies realized that e-commerce would grow as traditional companies migrated online as opposed to chasing down new web companies that were disappearing every week. Thermo Fisher Scientific refocused on scientific instruments and sold off activities non-core to that new vision. Staples closed non performing stores but opened new stores in faster growing markets.

Recessions require a myopic focus on cash in the first 100 days but then it should be about positioning and performance. The next few years will reward companies large and small who take the baggage, the padding out of their strategy. You need to figure out what you can be great at and then execute your strategy with passion and skillful delivery. Most companies have an overly complex strategy and a naive simplistic approach to execution. It’s the other way round. Simple strategy but a clever, measured, multifaceted execution.