These clever words are attributed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I think I understand what she means.

It often takes a crisis to get people to take action. People hate to change, but will willingly do so if they have to (but not a day before). You know what I mean. The heart attack victim gets the bypass and then takes up running and eating right. The city decides to put a streetlight on a busy street after a major automobile accident. And so it goes.

This economic crisis has challenged many of us take a hard look at our spending and to evaluate what is important. Companies have slimmed down with layoffs and cost cutting. I read today that GM is considering dropping the Pontiac brand after 50 years. In reality the brand has been dead for more than a decade, but they had held on to it with the hopes of reviving the brand for a new generation.

Yes, a crisis can motivate you to change. But, I prefer the advice from former GE CEO Jack Welch. Welch said, “Change before you have to”. I guess that is more like crisis planning—it just makes more sense to me.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2009 All rights reserved.

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