What does normal look like anyway?

29 March 2010
Here’s something else to dislike the recession for (as if you needed another reason): the phrase “the new normal”. This has come up in a number of press releases sent to me this week, with PRs anxious to promote their client as the answer to surviving in this “new normal”. Hold on – isn’t it just normal all the time? The recession may have shaken things up, but booms and busts are the natural cycle of a capitalist economy. The current situation is just as “normal” as when the money was rolling in. It might be that businesses can’t now afford to waste money – but could they really afford to before? Efficient and well-run businesses weren’t then, just as they aren’t now. Is there less business to be won in the marketplace? Perhaps, but it’s less business for all not just for your company. There’s no reason to expect your market share will fall. It’s a bit like that other phrase, “business as usual”. What exactly is “business as usual”? The best companies are constantly evolving and improving, finding new ways to work with customers and clients and (ultimately) make more money. Those firms stuck doing “business as usual” will be left behind.
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