Alice Rivlin: How Do You Succeed In Business During a Recession?

Topic: Managing and Thriving in a Down Market

 

Rivlin:    I’m Alice Rivlin, and I’m a senior fellow at the Brooking’s Institution. 

 

Question: How can companies balance their budgets in a recession?

 

Rivlin:    Well, budgets are all alike there’s never enough quite enough revenue to do what you really like to do so working with the budget whether it’s a company or a school or the federal government is always a question if looking at how can you do the things you need to do more efficiently so that cost are less and how can you get more revenue? In a down market, that’s pretty hard because the revenue is falling and super efficiency may not get you to balance. 

 

Question: What is the best way to approach risk in a recession?

Rivlin:    Companies tend to become suddenly risk givers, companies and banks and others and afraid to take risk in a recession.  That’s not necessarily the right response but it is a natural one if you’ve been burned to hold back the government is trying very hard at the moment to overcome this risky version on part of businesses and banks and consumers.  People are just very worried right now about doing anything whether it’s buying or producing and that is inhibiting the recovery.

 

Question: Are there benefits to starting a company during a recession?

Rivlin:    The benefits of starting a company in a recession may well be that nobody else is doing it or that you get the benefit of the talents of people you couldn’t afforded to attract when the economy was really going well but here is some really creative people that want to get together and help you get your business off the ground and they are willing to work for relatively little because they haven’t got anything else to do.

 

Question: Who are the winners and losers of the next economy?

Rivlin:    If the United States is to keep up in the global raise, we have to be very entrepreneurial and very oriented toward technological change.  That’s our forte anyway.  I think President Obama is right in emphasizing increase a contributions to science.  We need our start up companies which make a lot of the positive changes in the economy.  The general industry is that will benefit least I think are probably at least for a while, luxury retail and the things that sort of went over the top when we were having a big boom. 

 

Question: Are business opportunities expanding outside the U.S.?

Rivlin:    We’ve seen very high gross rates in developing countries especially recently China and India that’s going to continue they have.  The Chinese have been very dependent on exports for growth.  They will have to shift more overtime toward investing in their own economy and their own consumer sector and that will not be easy, but we will certainly see continued high growth rates from economies that have a lot of potential, a lot of people and a lot of resources and need to maximize the use of those resources.  The developed economies like the United States and Europe will probably grow slower but if we get our economy back in shape and our banking system functioning again, we can certainly have positive growth. 

 

Question: How can workers stay motivated during difficult times?

 

Rivlin:    It’s probably always hard to stay creative and stay motivated but it maybe most difficult when things are going really well.  When they are not going well, when there are obstacles to be overcome, a lot of people are at their most creative.

The former director of the Office of Management and Budget, Alice Rivlin, balances your corporate budget.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 reasons to be optimistic in 2019


Rwanda is pioneering the regulation and use of drones - such as delivering blood

Photo: STEPHANIE AGLIETTI/AFP/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs

Even the optimists among us would have to admit 2018 was a challenging year. The fractured world that became the focus of our 2018 Annual Meeting a year ago came under further pressure from populist rhetoric and rising nationalist agendas. At the same time, the urgent need for coordinated global action in areas such as climate change, inequality and the impact of automation on jobs became more intense.

Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less

15 surprising life lessons from a highly successful 80-year-old

You can use these to get ahead, no matter your age.

Personal Growth

Blackstone's Byron Wien, Vice Chairman of Private Wealth Solutions Group, gave a speech laying out the wisdom he learned during his 80 years. Here are 15 of Wien's best life lessons, which teach us about improving our productivity, sleep, burnout avoidance, and everything in between.

Keep reading Show less