Catalyst Strategic Consultants

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May Day! May Day!

0012cb14-5d2f-468a-82d5-3c917081044dMay Day! May Day!

We are falling off the cliff face of a made in the West recession. Well maybe it was made in Saudi Arabia, but that’s for the dark arts practitioners.

Who will blink first? The OPEC oil producers, intent on a last gasp consolidation of market share? Or the Western capitalists, notorious for short term responses to emergent crisis? My bet is the latter.

It doesn’t matter much, ’cause the impact is severe and immediate in our corner of the world. The announcements are coming thick and fast. Pengrowth just floated that they are reducing CAPEX by 75%.

When the money stops flowing, the show is over. For now.

Anyone who is dependent on the production, service, retail, housing, lending, any other sphere that marches on the oil economy’s stomach is headed for a [big] fall.

So stop.

Completely replan.



For some this message is obvious and delayed. We’ve been talking this way in TEC for a number of months. But I’m always shocked at the number of people who would prefer participating in the trauma of a train wreck [as one of the injured – or worse!] than reading about it in the paper.

Now some will be unaffected or even boosted by the decline in oil. In this part of the world, those exempted are confined to anyone in the agricultural world, basic food provision, and folks whose market is elsewhere [other than oil affected]. Or my favorite, the euphemistically entitled “Career Transition” biz. The end.

Chances are you are not among those excused.

It’s that “Not me” fantasy that falsely comforts those in the crosshairs. And they really want to talk themselves into it. I’ve heard people running down their committed order list to show me that they’ll be OK.

Have you ever gone to the ATM to be turned down for your cash advance? I have! It focuses the mind wonderfully. And our core industry is – right now – right there. It’s not that they don’t want to keep their word. Or be nice people. They just don’t have it to spend. On anything. Except survival.

And most of you should follow suit. Right now.

In our turnaround 10 commandments, suited for situations like this, the guiding metaphor is that you’ve woken up surprised at the controls of a light plane. In the air. Over unknown territory. With no one else to instruct.

What’s the first thing ought to have priority?

Most smart folk answer:

“Keeping the plane in the air!”

How to do that?


Cash is fuel for your plane. Keeping it in the air is the prime concern. No matter that we’ve just come through a zone of extreme plenty. That was yesterday. This is – suddenly – now.

You can navigate to a safe landing if you can continue flying. But planes don’t take kindly to unexpected encounters with the ground.

One thing you should not cut. Anything that helps you increase your capacity to fly and navigate.

If you don’t know how to stay in the air in extreme situations, get help. With that -20, -30, -40% scenario cash flow projection and the moves that go with it.

And for what comes after.

The same smart folk understand that market share shifts come in the aftermath of one of these, not when the market is rising. So there are unique opportunities to get in front of the next wave.

And you want to be there. When the wave comes in.

Don’t you?

So now is the best chance to get your troops together and:

Orient them to the emergent reality

Make a survival / sharp adjustment replan

Start designing and building the next order company to grab that wave.

We have more interest in Gazelles than previously. No wonder… Those who want to be there are getting into position to catch that 7th wave.

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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