Judo and O’Reilly on the Financial Crisis

Tim O’Reilly published yesterday a great post on the current financial crisis. His thoughts are inspiring and an excellent guide on where to focus in times of trouble.

Here is a summary of his main points, most of which are part of an email O’Reilly sent to his employees:

  • Need for robust strategies. Those are needed in good and bad times, but the strategy will be more robust if we prepare for the worst.
  • Rough times are often the best times for creativity, opportunity and change.
  • Great problems are also great opportunities for those who know how to solve them.

After recognizing he does not know how the crisis might affect his company, he advises his employees:

  • Work on stuff that matters. If the world go to hell what would you still work on?
  • Exert visionary leadership. In tough times people look for inspiration and vision.
  • Focus on the “must do” things and accelerate them

Read the entire post including some illustrative examples of how this worked in the past for O’Reilly.

Judo Principles to weather the storm

O’Reilly’s advice is a wise one to sail troubled waters. How about adding the five principles below?

  1. Carefully observe oneself and one’s situation, carefully observe others, and carefully observe one’s environment.
  2. Seize the initiative in whatever you undertake.
  3. Consider fully, act decisively.
  4. Know when to stop.
  5. Keep to the middle.

I find that Jigoro Kano‘s Five Principles of Judo are also a very valid framework to guide us in good and (specially) in rough times.