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Julie Cooper

Spring Development

Programme Director

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Three good things about the recession


 We know that the recession means that budgets are tighter than they were a few years ago. However, I've noticed some upsides to the downturn...

 ·         More thought going into decisions

The first impact that I noticed was how long it took for clients to go ahead with training programmes. Decisions now had to go further up the chain, and for the first time in a long while I was being asked to write formal proposals to go the board, where a meeting and an outline had previously been sufficient. 

 The record, I think, was eighteen months from first contact to delivery.  The interesting thing about this was the meetings along the way. I found clients were exploring their requirements in more depth, more prepared to consider the needs of their key individuals, and more interested in the delivery and evaluation process.

 The upshot, unsurprisingly, was that (even though some of the goal posts had moved a few times along the way) was that they were more committed to the training, the delegates seemed to value it more highly than previous  programmes. I don’t think there is any rocket science here –  it’s a simple  attitude of being more careful about getting value for money – but from the trainer’s point of view, the thoughtful, prepared client is a much easier gig than the ‘just do it so I can tick the box’ one!

  ·         Creativity is valued

Yes, we have all had to learn to do things differently (that’s a blog in itself) whether we like it or not. I’ve always been a big fan of teaching managers some lateral thinking skills. My impression has been in the past that although it was a topic ‘on the list’, for many clients it was never a very high priority, and usually got superseded by more pressing concerns; other subjects were seen as more directly relevant to the day job.

 There are no surprises here either– over the last few years there have been several reports finding that creativity is now one of the top attributes that leaders need. Even if we don’t read reports, we’ve all found out that doing things in the same way is no longer giving us the same results. I like it that clients are now with me on this one, I no longer need to try to persuade them to give it prominence.

  ·         We’re  in this together

I’d be interested to know how other people have found this – it could just be my own fortunate experience. I had to take a few months out last year, and then relocated to a new area and had to start building networks  all over again. What I have found is a level of support and encouragement that maybe is not quite beyond my very wildest dreams, but is certainly far greater than I dared hope for.  Talented, experienced lovely folk seem willing to share, collaborate and offer input and advice on a scale that haven’t experienced before. I’m  loving every minute.


I don’t mean to deny some of the devastation the recession has caused of the last few years. I have been deeply saddened by the impact on colleagues, and have lost much of my favourite work where funding streams have dried up. Bring on the recovery – but let’s take forward the thoughtfulness, creativity  and camaraderie to the brave new world.

One Response

  1. Facts about recession

    I was just a bit of surprised that how recessions are being good when the begets and investments are running under losses, even though recession is one of the weird situation for every economy, but the above article describes the good values of recessions and also the process that how to handle a recession period. A much appreciable article having all sorts of valuable details about recession and how to utilize these terms in our budgets.

     Recruitment Database




Author Profile Picture
Julie Cooper

Programme Director

Read more from Julie Cooper

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