Economic uncertainty is ‘tremendously positive’: Jim Collins; “We are returning to normal. Normal is chaos, disruption, uncertainty and change. That’s actually the human condition.”

Economic uncertainty is ‘tremendously positive’: Jim Collins

PUBLISHED: 3 HOURS 59 MINUTES AGO | UPDATE: 3 HOURS 2 MINUTES AGO

The turbulence is likely to gather pace, with technology and globalisation acting as accelerators to speed up the boom and bust cycles. Photo: Reuters

JAMES THOMSON

Jim Collins starts with a history lesson that will send chills down the spines of entrepreneurs and executives struggling with the chaos and turmoil of the past five years. “In the developed world, we grew up in a period of very unusual stability and prosperity. Obviously there were disruptions – fuel shocks etcetera – but from the 1950s up until around 2000, it was a period of stability and prosperity,” he tells me from his New York office. Collins, the highly regarded management thinker, consultant and researcher famous for books including Built to Last and Good to Great, says the lesson from his most recent work, Great by Choice, is that the longer sweep of human history is not marked by lengthy periods of prosperity. “We are returning to normal. Normal is chaos, disruption, uncertainty and change. That’s actually the human condition.”The turbulence is likely to gather pace, with technology and globalisation acting as accelerators to speed up the boom and bust cycles. “Welcome, in all likelihood, to the rest of our lives.”

It sounds ugly and Collins admits for many companies, it will be. But with turbulence comes great opportunity.

“If you are mediocre, you should be scared. But if you are exceptional, you should view it as a tremendously positive time.

“In the past, trying to build a great company might have been an option rather than a necessity. Now, you either need to hit the standards that would make you great or you are not going to do very well at all.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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