Forget the Macro Economy | Think Micro

Change management is an integral part of business management and financial management that is here to stay.  You have probably heard at some point the serenity prayer.  It reads like this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Accept What You Cannot Change (Forget the Macro)

Whether or not you accept the spiritual aspect of this prayer, there is without a doubt a reality here that needs acknowledging.  Some things we simply cannot change.  Recently the stock market has fluctuated wildly from day to day.  We cannot control the stock market, and rash decisions in an attempt to do so have long-lasting consequences.

Like the stock market, the macro economy is something we cannot control, yet it is the playing field where we operate our businesses.  At this time, late summer of 2011, the U.S. and world economies remain in a slump approaching three years.  We need to drop the illusion that we can control them.  Staying fixated on the uncontrollable paralyzes us and prevents us from acting on what we can control.  Our time and efforts are better utilized elsewhere.

Change the Things You Can Change (Think Micro)

Consider Apple Computer.  This is a company that is recording record profits and introducing successful new products in a down economy.  Why?  I suggest that one of the key reasons for their success is the unrelenting focus on what they can control.  The micro economy is where your decisions and actions will have an impact.  For example, you have significant control over the markets you go after, the products or services you sell, and the employees you hire.  You also can make decisions to change internal aspects of your business, such as marketing techniques you utilize, inventory levels, credit policies, or customer service.  What are the things you can actually do something about?

Know the Difference

We need to carefully examine what we would like to accomplish and clearly distinguish between what we can and cannot change.  If we do not do this we run the risk of wasting time and resources on those things over which we lack control.

By the way, accepting that we cannot change some things also means we have to accept the changes that we cannot stop.  We have to accept that and be willing to change the things we can in order to adapt to changes we do not control.  Failure to adapt to a changing business environment can be fatal to our businesses.

It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”  ~W. Edwards Deming

There will always be those things we would like to change but cannot or that change that we wish would not.  Along with changing what we can and accepting what we cannot, we are well served to consider our attitude toward this.  Here is how a couple of others expressed this sentiment.

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”  ~Mary Engelbreit

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  ~Victor Frankl

Be encouraged that when you embrace this reality you will actually be and feel more in control because you will begin to act on what you can control.

Should you like to know more, contact us at: AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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2 Responses to “Forget the Macro Economy | Think Micro”

  • I would be interested in hearing more about this

    • Chris S - Your Small Business CFO:

      Thank you for your feedback. We will likely touch on the issue of focusing on the micro economy in future articles. In the meantime, how about subscribing via RSS feed or email to be alerted to future updates and posts. We value and look forward to your comments.

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