Survival Plan

A Recession is destructive innovation. It has accelerated, for example, the Amazon effect of online sales and purchases with the closure of some 29 retailers. The recession of the 2020 Pandemic is different in some respects, straining local restaurants and bars, even the best of local.

In the Great Recession of 2008 (Dec. 2007 through 2008), Hall wrote an Chapter in The Refractive Thinker™ related to survival planning (Hall, 2009). The planning process starts with the existing plans, and jump-starts a plan for survival. Following is an extract from the conclusion of that article. Note the emphasis on Scenario plans and building them into contingency plans for the uncertain future. Many companies find themselves still in survival mode at the end of 2020.

The full planning process would provide a typical organization with one of the key elements needed to do the crisis management planning necessary for making sound decisions. First, scenario planning might have provided an early warning alert to help minimize the impacts of the recession or other major event. Scenario planning for the uncertain future is even more critical under crisis. Often the new official view of the organization is tentative, at best. This means that one or more of the alternate views that are being considered in the revised scenario plan will now be more likely.

During times of extreme uncertainty, focusing attention and resources is critical. All of the prioritized products and services should be reevaluated to make sure that priorities reflect the current situation. This is not the time for across the board cuts with the idea of being equitable to everyone, even those people and resources that fall outside the organization’s core.

Every year that people are unemployed is a lost year of income for them, a lost year of production for employers, and lost gross domestic product that the nation will never recouped. Engaging employees in the survival planning process will likely produce ideas and outcomes that will be more advantageous for the employees, the customers and the organization.

Times of stress occur during all major transitions in the environment, internal or external. Even the hyper growth that can occur when recovering from a recession will result in major growing pains. Teamwork and focus are key in planning for, and weathering, duressful situations and coming out of them with an enduring competitive advantage.


Hall, E. (2009). Strategic planning in times of extreme uncertainty. In C. A. Lentz (Ed.), The refractive thinker: Vol. 1. An anthology of higher learning (1st ed., pp. 41-58). Las Vegas, NV: The Lentz Leadership Institute. (