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The Economist’s R-Word index looks at the number of times the word “recession” appears in print to gauge whether or not a real recession is on the way. (Not to be confused with their “Big Mac Index” which uses the price of a Big Mac to determine if a country’s currency is properly valued. The Economist: where wacky indexes tell the world, “We’re not dull!”). The more you see the word, the more likely a recession is coming. So perhaps, just to be safe, we should treat the word “recession” as if it was “Voldemort” and never say it again…

Voldemort recession graphic

Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you’ve seen The Word That Shall Not Be Named a lot lately. Usually in articles that also mention Brexit or Trump’s Trade War or Inverted Bond Yield Charts. And yeah, if you’re like me, you sometimes read some weird stuff.

But it looks like a You Know What is on the way. Perhaps not by Q2, but sooner than we’d like. How can you and your organization guard against it? How can you make your company recession-proof?

Most of the leaders I introduce at business events seem to mention the same factors that can help:

  • Dynamic leadership that encourages creative thinking, risk-taking and taking ownership
  • Clear and open communication that supports effective collaboration and innovation
  • Teammates who can make connections with colleagues and clients
  • Customer-centricity and effective storytelling
  • Humor

Wait, humor? Okay, I said that one. Because at Boom Chicago for Business, we know that humor helps people bond and move forward in good times and in bad.
It helps people name and get past the fears and concerns they may have about the marketplace and the economy. It makes business better. 

Now you might not be surprised to learn that we use interactive, improvisation-based techniques to help you develop all of these factors that will help you fight The Dark Economic Lord.

So feel free to say the name. Recession. Just be ready for it.

Pep Rosenfeld

PepPep Rosenfeld

As Director of Creative Content, Pep does it all: He’s a high level event host & facilitator, writer, stand-up comedian, public speaker, coach, and developer of innovative corporate programs. A co-founder of Boom Chicago, Pep’s passion is using comedy to make hard-to-communicate messages land and stick, as featured In his 2012 TED talk, ‘Fight, Flight or Make Your Opponent Laugh.’ Pep hosts events like TEDx Amsterdam, The Next Web Conference, The Nordic Business Forum, and the Spin Awards to rave reviews, and he was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on America’s long-running television show, Saturday Night Live.