All around us, people are being laid off.
The companies in (and near) my little town in rural, northwest Montana – have seen more than 800 layoffs.
Thankfully (if there is a bright spot), not all of the 800 people laid off live here in our town of 4500 people – but it still affects everyone as it trickles through the town’s economy.
A local banker told me a few weeks ago, “You can see it on them when they come in…they’re wearing it”.
“It” being the weight of unemployment.
The bright spot
There is a bright spot to all of this. Our local community college has seen a massive peak in registrations.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Â Eric Hoffer
You know that a lot of the folks who are getting laid off are unprepared to move on. Not all of them, of course, but a substantial percentage.
As a business owner, you already know that you have to be careful who you hire in these situations. Many folks will bolt back to their former job as soon as it opens up – because you probably can’t pay them what a manufacturing job does, for example.
Scout motto – “Be prepared”
How are you preparing your staff and *your company* for the world that doesn’t yet exist?
You might think that you don’t care because tomorrow isn’t here, and those newfangled things won’t appear for a while.
Or you might be the town’s Yahoo and the new business in town just might be the Google that makes you irrelevant.Â Heaven help you if that new business actually has some funding and isn’t bootstrapping like so many others.
It isn’t about Silicon Valley, Yahoo and Google. This conversation is just as applicable to them as it is to your dry cleaning store.
It isn’t just laid off employees that need to be learning. You likely recognize that they should have updated their skills BEFORE they found themselves in a position to be laid off.
Look in the mirror, cuz the same goes for you.
Your business needs to learn and grow as well if it is to inherit its rightful place as the dominant innovative business in your niche.
That has to happen before your Google arrives on the scene.