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29/05/2020


If you really want to own things you need to be able to do your best without them. Nothing is truly yours if you can't afford to lose it. In that case, you got it.


Not being able to afford to lose something is the first step towards the end: not being able to afford to lose something means that you are saying to yourself that you don't feel like you are able to rebuild it. From that moment on, the material world will possess you.


It applies to collaborators, customers, loves, companies, things.

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28/05/2020

If you want to earn a lot of money, you have to give to your customer more than he expects, even if you lose money.

Pay attention to one important thing: if you continue to lose money to create a happy customer, you should re-set your business architecture. There is nothing that has so much value for the economic success of any business like a customer who is really happy with what you have given to him.


The counter-intuitive principles of business are those principles which, at first glance, go against logic and which are followed by a small minority of people who clearly inherit all economic success.

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27/05/2020

Knowing these aspects is important because 20% of the population manages to control 80% of wealth, precisely because they think and act in a counter-intuitive way, that is, in a way that most people would consider wrong. What I am saying is that people who continue to remain endowed with few financial resources, in spite of the passage of time, is because they think in an intuitive way, that is to say in a logical, rational, consequential way.

Trying to decode the principles that led to business success, about 9-10 years ago I began to realize that the principles that had the power to make your company grow, almost all of them had one thing in common: they were counter-intuitive, that is at first sight contrary to logic. I became more and more passionate about the subject and, as my companies grew, I began to fill in longer and longer lists.



I understood that the present business scenario is like a puzzle that, if you play with the rules followed by everyone, you always end up losing or, after having done great laps and even imagining that you have almost won, in the end you always find yourself at the starting point: caged, insecure, at the mercy of circumstances. Practicing and researching the counter-intuitive principles of business ultimately led me to a further great discovery, which was also the discovery of my life: everything in life has a spiritual origin, but this is another more advanced discourse, for another series.



The first counter-intuitive principle that I discovered was the following: the decision to improve oneself by carrying out a practical action in that direction, has an effect on the individual which is often equally beneficial compared to the actual actions that he will put in place to do it. Your life doesn't start to improve when you read the book, your life starts to change and improve the moment you buy it. Thought (or, in this case, decision) often creates more important effects than action. Each of us, if we really want to build successful business, should become a student of all counter-intuitive practices and principles.

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25/05/2020

In one of the books that I like most and that had a strong impact on me as manager, In search of excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, Tom Peters explains that the good manager must learn to manage paradoxes, apparently contrary and conflicting situations that may exist in the company. Peters explains that sometimes we have an unproductive employee, but we choose to handle him in a motivating way and this apparent paradox works. In the same way, even in a rigid organization (very important for success) it is still necessary to allow the existence of smugglers of value, people who by violating the rules create great value for the customer and the future of the organization. The book is beautiful and is always worth reading it again.

From the day I read that book, I learned to admire the leaders and managers who knew best how to manage and make these paradoxes coexist within their companies. It was from there that I eventually came to the conclusion that many of the principles that lead to business success are counter-intuitive.



I am writing this to you because today all leaders and entrepreneurs are once again called to live with one of these paradoxes. The economy will be affected and that's a certainty. As I have already explained several times, companies-except those that have benefited from this Coronavirus evolution: e-commerce, sanitization, pharmacies, etc.-must expect to survive from here to the end of the year, making 40% of turnover from May to August, 50% more or less in September and then, from there to December we are expected to return to normal. These are actually bad data and if someone had been convinced for a moment that things would have gone better, surely seeing how this government has managed the economy and it is still managing it, he will surely come to change his mind.



But this strong negativity must coexist, in my opinion, with a GREAT POSITIVITY of the leader. I understand that money, market shares are being lost and it is a difficult moment, but we will be able to overcome it only if we face it with a great positive emotional energy.



I am strongly negative for the country's economy. Instead, I am strongly positive for the opportunities. Which–to be honest-are not zoom, virtual courses (things that incidentally are sad for a traveler and a lover of people like me). We are reinventing the opportunities, giving GREAT value to relationships, demonstrating enthusiasm, helping others, finding new ways to grow.



The real challenge, ultimately, is not economic, but human: will you know how to live with the paradox or will you be overwhelmed by it?

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20/05/2020



I often meet entrepreneurs and managers worried about their time. Some of them feel like they don't have time, they can't manage work-personal life balance, they don't have time to travel, to study, to improve themselves, to do what they enjoy.


And all these people are looking for the following organizational remedy: checklists, diaries, dials. I do not question these systems, since neither am I a drug dealer nor an avid consumer.


But today I would like you to think in a different way: as you abandon your spiritual vision (or linked to your own values) you will have to deal with more and more time problems. The explanation, from a physical point of view, is that time, to be defined, also needs the concept of space. But to get a location in space, you have to abandon the concept of being spiritual, that is something that by its definition has no location in the material universe. In a nutshell: the human spirit is not energy, has no location in space. He is what brings these things to life. So it works like this:


a) You abandon the idea of being a spirit (or, for the less attentive to the affairs of the soul, of being an intangible figure composed essentially of values): stop being guided mainly by values
b) As a material being you now have a position in space and, as such,
c) You are now subject to time and its laws. It is no coincidence that I often repeat that "if you do not have time, it is because you are following someone else's goals or because you have forgotten your true values".


Now some practical and fascinating exercises: if I, despite being overworked, decided to volunteer for our Association Imprenditore Non Sei Solo (which requires that I should dedicate one day a week to this new activity), I would magically feel like I have more time! (Instead of materialistic aspects, in fact, I would be guided by my true values, effectively invalidating the above sequence). At the same time, if I, despinte being always overworked, decided to open an OSM office in Angola (which, although being complex, would be truly aligned with my true values, one of which is expansion), suddenly I would feel like I have more time...Which is like saying: if you feel like you don't have time, stop considering yourself a material object!


Follow your REAL goals, work on the basis of your true values, don't forget who you are!
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04/05/2020

One of the most important rules of business is that it is much more important WHO you do things with rather than WHAT you do.


There are in fact people with whom, ANY business you can start, will be fine. At the same time, there are people with whom ANY business idea that you can try, they will be able to convince you that it has no market.



This crisis will influence many of our habits and, in some cases, what we will deal with. Instead, the rule below will not change: if you do business with the wrong “WHOS”, well crisis or abundance, nothing changes: however, you will not go far.



I see many entrepreneurs worried, rightly, about the liquidity of their businesses. Me too. But if you have not arrived to this crisis in oxygen reserve, maybe it's because you didn't work with the right people in the first place. And if you do not fix it, you will also waste the additional injection of liquidity that the State could give to your company (and on which, even if I continue to ask for it, I tell you I don't believe it).



Who are the right and the wrong “WHOS”?



In my opinion, the right “WHOS” are those who become enthusiast easily. They are the ones that go on, sometimes even stupidly, but that to every business idea that you submit tend to answer you "damn cool!!!" They are not yes men because, in case, the next week they come back to you and candidly and with a smile they say "but look at that idea there, I thought about it a bit and for me it's bullshit, it doesn't work. Let's change it!". But they light up! They charge up, things are possible for them!



The wrong “WHOS” are first and foremost those who don't turn on. Some people are so empty of vital energy that they see nothing beautiful, great, fantastic, only the smallness of their vitality.



Secondly, the wrong “WHOS” are the critics.



In ten years we have conducted aptitude analyzes on about 1% of the Italian population. They are large numbers because we are talking about 500.000 people, perhaps one of the largest studies ever conducted in our country. We have noticed that about 60.76% of the Italian population, six out of ten people, tend to be overly critical and to notice in the ideas and communications of others much more easily what does not work rather than what works. If you showed a gold nugget to these people, they would say that "it is dirty" or "it is chipped". If they speak with great talent they notice that he has dirty shoes or the wrong dialectal inflection, rather than his charge or enthusiasm. These people (and there are many because they are six out of ten) are also the ones you see on the walls of others who make judgments and make people moral. Making a company with this type of people in my experience is a "pain in the ass" because they will continue to show you what does not work rather than what works and, if like me, you are a company opener, you know what I mean.



So: live and face this crisis with great enthusiasm. It will be tough, we will have to be careful and put many things under control. But remember that MUCH more important than what you do, it will be WHO you will do it with.



That, more than anything else or external intervention, will determine your chances of success.

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29/04/2020



When I started the Association Imprenditore non Sei Solo, many fellow consultants and trainers criticized me because, giving free advice and training to entrepreneurs in difficulty, in their opinion I gave something to people who, receiving it for free, would not have appreciated it. Time has shown that this was not the case and the nearly 500 companies saved by the Association are testifying to this.


But what is fascinating is that the companies of all the volunteers, that is, of those who have made their time free of charge to help colleagues in crisis, during this period of "free help" have grown, often in an extraordinary way. And, note well, each volunteer has the absolute ban on up-selling to entrepreneurs that he helps, that is, he cannot sell his services to them.


I use this example to introduce a fascinating mechanism of value creation, linked to free, that is to give oneself to others.


Imagine that I am a professional who has no engagement and you are a person in difficulty who does not have the economic means to afford my services. If I tried to sell you something, I wouldn't generate any value because you wouldn't buy it anyway. In fact, I would have probably incurred expenses. If, on the other hand, I would help you for free, you would now be more effective (I created value) and I, in turn, having contributed to someone else's well-being, would be more motivated. Here now, compared to nothing that was before, I am more charged (and therefore more effective and predisposed to having the right intuitions) while you have become (unless you are crazy) an ambassador of my brand and my ally.


This explains one of the systems that many small and medium-sized enterprises used during this crisis to generate value despite being closed. "Call all customers - we told them - both active and inactive and ask them how they are and if you can do something for them. Then do it for free. You will see that sooner or later orders will start to arrive." I am not saying that it has worked constantly, but in several cases the results have been remarkable.


If you want to create something out of nothing, forget about yourself for a moment and try to contribute to others’ well-being. There is another facet, always linked to this aspect, more of a psychological type, which however also has great importance. In life things often happen to us based on our expectations. If we expect negative events, we will end up experiencing negative events. There is a whole book on this subject written by a Scottish psychologist, The Fortune Factor, which examines precisely the importance of individual expectations in generating one's luck or bad luck.


If I give, on a psychological level I am convinced-or at least I am convinced-that I can have! Which is a bit like the phrase: "I don't give because I am rich, but I am rich because I give".


If, on the other hand, during the narrowness, I don't give or contribute, I am convinced that in the future I will have even more narrowness. And this often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


To conclude, if you want to create something out of nothing, you should be focused on contributing and, even if it seems absurd, you will magically see that things in your life will start to travel much more profitably.
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27/04/2020

I have already written several articles on what we can expect, these are just some additional ideas that I am writing here because I don't want to get them lost.

- In Beijing and Shanghai, where factories have been back to work for over one month, car traffic has returned to normal levels during the week while not at weekends. It means that after the reopening (after Easter? Early May?) people will have some difficulty and reticence to leave the house, go to restaurants, go shopping, etc. We will have to attract them.


- As proof of this, H&M China has reopened all its stores since the beginning of March, but reports that sales are still down 60% compared to the previous year.


- Americans estimate that the recovery in China will really happen in the last quarter, therefore October, November and December.


- All countries in the world will fear foreigners and keep their borders closed just to avoid returning infections after having fought so long to eradicate the virus. It means that international tourism as well as business travel will be significantly affected.


- The updated estimate for the drop in Italian GDP in 2020 is -12%, with a recovery of 8% in 2021. It is estimated that 30% of restaurants can close and not reopen.


- Covid actually constitutes an acceleration of processes that have ALREADY been in place before the virus appeared. Companies that were strong before the crisis, in general, will tend to become even stronger, while companies in distress will tend to miss further blows. If you think about it, thanks to Covid, Amazon has strengthened its leadership compared to retailers, Facebook has further increased its market share compared to traditional media. The home delivery which was a growing trend in catering, thanks to Covid has become even stronger. Companies like Macy's that were already going badly previously, will lose further ground. In the USA it is estimated that there will be a great loss of restaurants not affiliated with chains (they are unable to deal with real estate owners, they do not have the marketing strength, the guarantees of the parent company, etc.) and that their locations will soon be occupied by chain-affiliated premises. The big franchise chains will take advantage of the small one.


In general therefore: even if initially affected THE STRONG WILL BECOME EVEN STRONGER while the weak will have to play force to join the strong or re-set his strategy.


- Another interesting detail comes from the USA where the procedures for the dismissal of staff are much more immediate: the greatest loss of jobs occurred between non-graduate or non-highly specialized people which is like saying: those who have very strong competence also manages to retrain in the course of a crisis, but those who do not have it or who had very limited competence see their jobs at risk.


There are several voices who begin to describe 2020 as a year in which we will have to hibernate and be able to operate at a minimum, until the moment in which, having definitively defeated the virus, we can return to life.

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22/04/2020


I know too little about biology to express myself about the virus, but I know companies well enough and I understand one thing for sure.


a. If you have dedicated less time to self improvement, that is spending time with great minds that can expand your reasoning and teach you something (for example: did you know that Alexander the Great had received private lessons from Aristotle for so many years?)


b. If you have not dealt effectively with the financial management of the company, but left this to the accountant


c. If you have not built an effective marketing structure for your business, large or small, for example, to conduct surveys and study the market


d. If you as a person and business owner are not present on social networks and/or have not created a community around your product or service


e. If you are not able to motivate people, showing them how in the company each of them can make their dream come true or if, for example, you have a grumpy, selfish or grouchy character


Then for your company the crisis related to the virus and the closure, is not a tragic event, but it is only the catalyst of problems that have ALREADY existed within the company and that will now manifest themselves in their fullness.


No company that does not fix the points above will be able to face this market easily. But you can always decide to fix them! NOW!
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02/04/2020

Realizing that we were going to stay home still for some time, last Saturday I delivered a course to all my colleagues on remote work that I called SMART-MANAGE. I was able to see a significant increase in the productivity of almost everyone involved, and also of the salespeople, last week.


The course, for those who want to do it to their collaborators, is now also available through the OSM network, but I still list some of the key points:


1. You have to teach managers or key people, in the case of micro enterprises, how to manage people remotely.
2. Make sure each of your collaborators has built a space with the minimum requirements to work with. This seems trivial, but it is not.
3. When working remotely, and especially in a crisis like this, time management is different. There is a real risk that our people will be absorbed almost entirely by social networks and chats. You have to make sure that important activities are in their work plans.
4. Use video calls with your key men at least once a day.
5. Everyone must have a statistic or a KPI that must be checked daily, at least in the start phase. Remember: a priority, a statistic, an activity. Keep things simple and people focused.
6. Be the first to write a daily report and send it by email to your colleagues, otherwise emotional distance and misunderstandings will arise.
7. Hold weekly meetings via zoom or skype. Duration 1.5 hours.



Our sales and service statistics, despite being closed at home, have increased by 300% last week. If you learn to manage you can also be productive with all your staff at home.



Increasing efficiency and productivity even in complicated situations like these is possible. Don't get dismantled!


 

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02/04/2020

Following Paolo Valentini’s fantastic live in the MBS group (which I highly recommend if you want to have ideas on how to restart your company) and following all the practical examples he has provided, I think this is the ESSENTIAL imperative if you want to overcome this crisis:




YOU HAVE TO BECOME MORE SKILLED!!!




From the restaurateurs who have already started organizing the delivery, to the beauty centers that have begun to sell their video consultations on the skin, to the dance teachers who are teaching via skype, to those who have finally managed to make e-commerce work, to the Carpentry of Lendinara who has contacted all the customers in its area and asked them to send videos of the house so as to provide them without commitment with renderings of the work that could be done, to the ice cream shop that has made the sales record in March bringing ice cream at people's homes, etc., etc. All the companies that are overcoming the crisis have one thing in common: THEY HAVE STOPPED JUSTIFYING ZERO PRODUCTIVITY and have started to develop their skills.




If you do it, not only will your business be strengthened, but you will also have seized the great opportunity that this crisis is giving to you.




If, on the other hand, you wait for everything to return to normal, well, you will soon realize that your company will come out greatly reduced.




Become skilled! No more justifications!

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30/03/2020

Even though in Italy we are still in a lockdown, we are now well underway with the operations to safeguard the financial well being of out Italian customers. The economic and financial fallout of this Covid 19 evolution will be long and painful and every company should prepare well in advance for when the lockdowns will be lifted in their countries. I am sorry if I have been away but here we had a lot to do. As I did with the Italian customers I am now ready to tackle our international customers. I will share what we have learned during a one month long lockdown in Italy and what are some of the strategies that worked better to survive and to prepare for the future. To that purpose I will do 2 Facebook Lives in english from my Bulgarian FB Page https://www.facebook.com/PaoloRuggeriOsmBulgaria/ at 11:30 GMT (14:30 Sofia Time, 13:30 Rome Time) on Wednesday April the 1st and on Friday April the 3rd at 11:30 GMT. Subject TIPS ON HOW TO SURVIVE FINANCIALLY THE LOCKDOWN AND THE FINANCIAL RECESSION. We will help you geth through this evolution with as little damage as possible. See you there
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16/03/2020

Our colleague Ana Michel Candelario of OSM Partner Reggio Emilia, together with Simona Lodolo, business consultant who has lived in Shanghai for several years, have compiled a guide on what is happening TODAY in China, after the Coronavirus emergency. Understanding what is described in this guide is vital because it makes us understand that many of the activities that have stopped today will never return to normal. Here is the text of their report: PURCHASING TRENDS IN CHINA DURING COVID 19. The Chinese measures on COVID-19 containment have been peremptory for two weeks. This choice has made it possible to significantly accelerate the return to "normal" life. During the quarantine, companies focused on:

- E-commerce - Implementation of streaming platforms (films, TV series)
- Communication through social media (Tik Tok, We Chat) in particular to make tutorials, online training, mini videos
- Delivery: The Food & beverage sector has specialized in home delivery and online reservations.
- The sale of frozen products has also grown.
- The cosmetic products sector has grown. Having more time, women have dedicated themselves to making self-aesthetic treatments, in particular: face masks, DIY shock treatments, mud, nail art, etc.



In general, companies have tried to keep in touch with customers. In China, people use the phone a lot and do almost everything with devices, for example: online shopping, use of streaming TV, booking and purchase of food or other goods / services.



𝑪𝑼𝑹𝑹𝑬𝑵𝑻 𝑺𝑰𝑻𝑼𝑨𝑻𝑰𝑶𝑵 𝑰𝑵 𝑪𝑯𝑰𝑵𝑨



Starting from the February 10th 2020, people have returned to almost "normal" and go out. In Shanghai there are 25 confirmed cases and the new cases that are occurring are mainly "imported". Italians or Chinese who return are obliged to stay in quarantine for 14 days at a hotel that is made available to the state for those who return. When people go out and frequent public areas, they all wear masks.



All restaurants and shops are open. At the supermarket there are many multiple offers (e.g. 3x2) to dispose of stocks. In general, people want to go out and have gone back to spending, but avoid gatherings. They don't go to the cinema. They go to the restaurant, but the restaurateurs are obliged to keep the safety distance of 1m between one table and the other and the number of people at the table must be limited.



Companies are open. Some full time, while others only part time. Production has resumed in Wuhan, but the rules to be respected for internal staff are very strict. Before entering the company, employees are obliged to measure the body temperature, put on masks and gloves. The office functions not essential for the continuation of the production activity (sales, marketing, accounts) work from home with smart working.



All employees must make a self-certification stating that they have not been in a risk area in the previous 14 days.



Companies that have an internal canteen are obliged to have separé that physically divides one person from another.



Restaurants are open even if they have limited hours, for example openings until 3a.m. are not allowed. However, the delivery service remains active. People have become accustomed to ordering online.



Schools have not been reopened yet, the kids are taking e-learning lessons.



𝑪𝑯𝑨𝑵𝑮𝑬 𝑶𝑭 𝑺𝑯𝑶𝑹𝑻-𝑻𝑬𝑹𝑴 𝑯𝑨𝑩𝑰𝑻𝑺:



People have become used to managing many aspects of everyday life with the help of technology.



Many appointments or group meetings are avoided and attempts are made to avoid gatherings of people. All this both for preventive health purposes and for reasons of environmental impact and lifestyle.



Prevention will be a very important lever and new measures have already been taken in this direction. For example, when someone has or will have a cold they will be forced to always wear a mask. Supermarkets may equip themselves to provide free delivery for the elderly or the healthiest. The masks must be supplied free of charge to all people who enter supermarkets or hypermarkets. Schools will implement e-learning platforms. In general, efforts will be made to avoid groupings of a large number of people. If they get sick, they will have to stay at home and schools will be able to do lessons remotely anyway. In the workplace there will be pre-access systems with health check-ups. Body temperature will be measured and mask and gloves and perhaps more will be provided as mandatory devices. Sanitation will become mandatory on a systematic basis.



𝑪𝑶𝑵𝑺𝑰𝑫𝑬𝑹𝑨𝑻𝑰𝑶𝑵𝑺 𝑶𝑵 𝑷𝑶𝑺𝑺𝑰𝑩𝑳𝑬 𝑭𝑼𝑻𝑼𝑹𝑬 𝑷𝑹𝑬𝑫𝑰𝑪𝑻𝑰𝑶𝑵𝑺:



This experience will change us. The business will have to become increasingly global and diversified.



We will learn that businesses and markets can be compromised alternately.



In the event that a country stops, we will have to be ready to have an active business / country.



Markets are interconnected and while I have the red light on one country it may happen that on another I have the green light that will allow me to continue growing and prospering.



China's experience with its successful case history can become a "know-how" that today they are transferring to Italians and tomorrow the Italians will be transferring to other countries. Chinese managers are moving to study solutions to restart companies. We will do the same too.



Managers will need to exchange and import knowledge aimed at survival and diversification.



Smart working / smart life will become normal.



Many of the activities that we do paid by the hour today will vanish and we will be evaluated on the results.



Hospitality and holidays will not foresee the masses. The holidays must be spread throughout the year to avoid large groupings of people. This will be a great new opportunity for the sector.



The inputs and outputs must be more programmable, measures will probably be taken to avoid mass tourism at certain times of the year.

---



Unless a vaccine is found, nothing will return as before. Is your company ready to cross the desert?


 

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16/03/2020

I'm not a doctor and I don't deal with epidemics. I am unable to express myself on those but I invite everyone to follow the indications provided by the government. I deal with companies and my job is to help the largest number of entrepreneurs, besides myself, to ensure the survival of their businesses.



Some additional data that came to me from the hotel sector as a consequence of the rapid evolution of the Corona Virus in Europe and the United States (which, I honestly thought, would have been able to stop) led me to reconsider the impacts that this crisis will have on our economy and on the Italian companies. I don't know what the evolution of the disease is like, I trust what the government says, but on an economic level I know what is going on within companies. Some facts:



1) The hotel sector in Northern Italy for the month of April registers reservations at 5% compared to last year and this makes us assume that the tourism crisis could last not only for the whole month of April but also for a part of the month of May. According to an interview with Maurizio Naro of Federalberghi Milano, 90% of Milan's hotels are closed. Not only that: as long as Italy remains on the list of countries not to visit in the United States of America, most international tour operators will not bring people to Italy. In this case, in fact, the insurance companies do not pay for travelers' problems.



2) The stock market that made -15% today should not have hit bottom yet. In my experience, FEAR is still missing, that irrepressible desire to go to the bank to withdraw all the money (typical of all the great crises that are respected). For fear to start there must be a failure of one or two major companies, for example Boeing sailing in very bad waters, or Ryanair or American Airlines. With such a failure, PANIC would start and usually, after a week / ten days of very strong fear, things generally start to stabilize. We have not achieved this yet, but there is still room for another descent.



3) Imagine now that Italy overcomes the problem of infections in three weeks, as it is hoped, then in early April we start to return to normal and during the month of April businesses start again and only do (to say) minus 50%. This was my original idea. What I haven't considered is that unless a vaccine is developed, the virus will start doing heavy damage in Germany, Spain (it has already started), France, England in three weeks. Our GDP at 30% depends on exports to European countries which, instead, in three weeks will begin to collapse and therefore, even if we managed to beat the infections (and we must try in every way) and we began to recover internally however, we would lose a good part of export turnover. An ugly, but decidedly realistic scene.



It follows that I find myself forced to update my forecasts and recommendations for Italian SMEs: begin to think that after this three-week standstill period (some more, some less) you will have to deal with a large part of missing turnover up to end of August or even September 2020 for five months. It is as if, on the fateful date of April 3rd, we will all find ourselves healthy (we really hope so) having to cross the Sahara desert on foot. You will need LOTS of water and every drop of water possible will make a BIG difference. I therefore advise you to review your stress tests referring to a scene like this. Obviously you can also defeat it if, immediately, you start marketing, offers, retaining customers so that at the restart you are ready to run and recover water. This is why we will help you do with the free training and coaching program of OSM & Friends on the MBS - Mind Business School group. But if you don't want to perish in the desert, you too will have to put in a lot of effort.



4) While points 1-3 represent for me an almost certainty (unless the vaccine is discovered) the situation of the Italian state is instead a question mark. Shoud it be understood that I expect the Government, albeit late, to publish the decree as soon as possible with aid to businesses (and therefore the possibility of IGC, payment by installments of tax, economic aid, etc. EXCELLENT THINGS, VERY NECESSARY), the question to which I can't give myself an answer yet is WHERE all the resources for these integration boxes will come from? In the month of March, 50-60% of the Italian workforce will not work. That's a lot of money. And, as we have seen before, it is only the beginning. Our public finances will be subjected to a strong solicitation and may end up speculating as has happened before. Unless the European Union pulls a cylinder out of its hat, there will be a risk ahead of a very heavy financial move. This road honestly now I don't know where it will end. Based on points 1-4, my only certainty today as today is this: NOTHING WILL RETURN AS BEFORE. Even in the most optimistic scenario, each of us will have to reinvent himself, he will have to change some of his attitudes and habits strongly. Our country will initially lose (you know that I am an optimist, so I believe that by working well it will be possible to recover it), a part of its wealth and therefore some pointers that have helped me overcome previous crises are indicative:



a. Stop talking about governments and what they should do to help you. When you are in the middle of the desert you cannot afford to complain about the Bedouins who do not lend you their water. You MUST SURVIVE! Thinking about what governments should do doesn't help you grow your business and recover water (unless you're in a position to influence what they decide on parliamentary committees, which is very unlikely).



b. If you do, stop looking at the stock exchanges or the markets. You cannot do anything to make the spread or the stock market rise or fall. If you have investments, for Diana, follow them but know that if you are inside this blender today, in most cases for a while you will take loud blows. Sandstorms when you're in the desert distract you and make you lose focus. You do not have to go looking for them but you must STAY FOCUSED ON THE OBJECTIVE which is to get to the first oasis. Although it may seem paradoxical, it can sometimes help to think that you have lost everything. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN B?



c. Realize that, even if crazy and tragic, this IS THE NEW NORMALITY, that is for a while we will be working in fits and starts and MUCH OF THE BUSINESS THAT IN THE PREVIOUSLY WE HAD DISCOUNTED IT WILL NOT COME BACK. Believe me, inside me, I wake up in the morning and say to myself "jeez let's hope it's all a dream and that everything will come back as before ..." and instead no. My almost 18 million turnover I HAVE TO RECONQUER, one at a time starting from when I leave the house. So how do I do it? How should I engineer myself? What product should I make? What will go after the health crisis? How will I contact customers? And, above all, in a moment of falling turnover and feeling of falling wealth, how will I have to modify my products and services so that they are a proposal of such a value that NO CUSTOMER, even if I have little money, can to say no?



d. Think about the water: you must have it to get to the end of August or, better yet, in late September. If you miss it, start thinking NOW how you will recover it: work on personnel costs, cut things to a minimum, defer investments that do not have an immediate return over time, start promoting and thinking how to generate the liquidity you lack today, build an e-commerce, find new customers and new niches and, as my friend Francesco Cardone says, make shock offers to customers, of such a value that they can only buy. Don't think anyone will come to your aid. It is sad to say it but we are alone. Although it may seem paradoxical, it can sometimes help to think that you have lost everything. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN B?



e. As in any battle for survival, remember to behave with honor: do not send invoices back to suppliers if you cannot pay them but elaborate win win solutions with them, try to involve your collaborators in generating value by creating economic incentive paths and not limit yourself to cut them, continue to study and grow yourself but, while doing all this, start to rethink all the financial paradigms on which you based your company and your existence. We lived in a world that was drugged, with many people in the comfort zone, where charismatic leaders were missing and a lot of modified influence was enough to break down almost all of our system. Although it is not pleasant, perhaps we all needed such a shock. The fact is that in early April (or as soon as the heat helps us to eradicate this virus) we will all find ourselves healthy but with the desert in front of us. Going through it will be a real struggle. Some will not make it or, afraid of leaving the comfort zone, they will think of stopping in the shadow of a rock hoping that someone will come to save them.



I and OSM and his friends will try to bring 10,000 businesses to the other side. And when we are on the other side of the desert, our recovery will begin! Do not give up! We will help you in the crossing!

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13/03/2020

I feel like I don’t have any more a company.


Yes, because almost 300 of my consultants in Italy are unable to go to client companies or organize training events. Of course, with smart working and with technological solutions we are working from home and we will probably close March with only 50% of the turnover less. All considered a discreet result but, in any case, a loss of several hundred thousand euros. And we are only at the beginning…



As the restrictive measures increased, I met virtually my partners and colleagues and we asked ourselves what to do, and even more now that the measures are going towards a total block of the activities. Doing smart working, webinars, put the seeds for the future, having a couple of weeks of vacation, writing books, etc. all useful things, but none of these things motivated or ignited us.



The only thing that motivated us was to MAKE ITALY START AGAIN, to help all Italian small and medium-sized enterprises to pass through this difficult period unscathed and to ensure that they were ready for the 6th of April (or when it will be). We not only liked this, but it motivated us a mess, each of us.



So we said to ourselves: to hell, let's forget about turnover, sales, cash flow and let's concentrate all 300 people on one thing: HELP SMALL MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES TO START UP, TO RESTART THE ECONOMY OF THIS COUNTRY.



And this is why, starting from Monday 16th of March, for three weeks we will put in practice the most massive free training and consultancy program ever carried out by an Italian company.



We will open a free Virtual School on our MBS - Mind Business School group where every day, for three weeks, we will have 3 live presentations by top entrepreneurs and experts in their sector, one at 2:30 p.m, one at 6:30 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. We have a schedule that will amaze you: from how to promote and do marketing, to building a successful personal brand, to managing banks, resilience, financial crisis management, making big sales, managing situations with the taxman, acquiring large customers, building an online sales project, delegate, etc., etc., etc. all talks held by some of our top experts. In a nutshell in 3 weeks, for free, we want to train as many entrepreneurs as possible at the highest levels so that, once the emergency is over, they are ready to start with great strength and thus recover the lost ground.



But it does not end here: OSM and its friendly companies: Partner D’Impresa (a network of accountants and labor consultants who do not limit themselves to doing F24 but are real partners of the entrepreneur) and the Association Imprenditore Non Sei Solo can count nearly 350 business consultants and top-level business coaches. Well we will put all these consultants to work for FREE, using smart working, to help all small and medium Italian companies that wish to fix any problematic situation they may have and prepare for a restart with a bang: every Italian entrepreneur can request a free coaching with an expert on:



- FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: face the crisis or understand margins, costs or make a strategy to generate profits



- MARKETING: how to promote yourself, build a brand, generate leads and sales



- EMPLOYMENT CONSULTING: manage layoffs, contracts, suspension of work, have access to benefits



-ACCOUNTANT: management of relations with the tax authorities, margins, installments, etc.



- HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT: evaluate people, motivate people, choose, attract, train or manage collaborators



- BUSINESS PROJECT: analyze your business plan or build a new one. Our goal: 10,000 entrepreneurs who have successfully passed the crisis period and who have a great project (with marketing, collaborators, financial strategies, determination and motivation of the group) to make a huge sprint in the last three quarters of the year.



Even if today we are facing big problems, we want Italy to start again. And we will do it starting with the first live on March 16th at 2.30 pm. It will be my one-hour live broadcast in the MBS - Mind Business School group on Resilience and Recovery from Moments of Difficulty.



Any entrepreneur or business owner who wants to participate, should simply request the access to the private MBS group. It will not be possible to access it for company collaborators, but only for Entrepreneurs, General Managers or VAT holders.



Tomorrow we will publish the calendar of 54 interventions that we will hold in the next three weeks with speakers and timetables. A landing page will also be online by Monday to request one or even all six free coaching. In the meantime, if someone wants to apply immediately, just write immediately to info@osmanagement.it indicating the details of the company, contacts and what type of coaching is required.



Obviously in carrying out these coaching we will give priority to customers enrolled in our MBS School of Management (we are always their debtors), then to customers of OSM or its franchises and subsequently to all other companies. But there will be room for everyone.



We will not be stopped by anything and will take advantage of these next three weeks, where we normally invoice nearly 1 million, to help as many companies as possible to overcome this challenge. It doesn't matter if they are our customers or not. Not all damage comes to harm. See you on Monday at 2.30 pm in the MBS group. And remember that "If you follow the Rules of Success, any disaster that hits you will also bring with it the seed of a great opportunity that you will not understand at the moment but much later."



Our goal is to build a better Italy. And to do this we need entrepreneurs to survive.



Let's start!

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13/03/2020

The Coronavirus emergency continues. Now the government has drastically limited many activities and we have to face this situation. I have already published several articles on this subject. In this article, although in some moments I will be repetitive, I would like to outline the opportunities.

First of all:



1. The virus, like all flu viruses, should go out with the arrival of the heat so we expect that things will have improved by April. By the end of March and the beginning of April we are expected to see a drop in the number of infections and from there on the government should slowly loosen the blockages. However, we cannot underestimate one aspect: for many activities the damage will be very important. Imagine the school canteens (and as a consequence the agri-food production), tourism, catering, planes, hotels, etc., in short, a strong hit.



2. You need to take a financial stress test:



a. If you are in sectors not related to hospitality (catering, hotels and what revolves around it) you must expect that apart from the last two weeks of February things will go rather badly (although we will fight to avoid it and to reduce the damage, see below) also during March and April. If you are out of those sectors and you are able to produce (you are not in a situation where the components must arrive from China) in April you will begin to update your activity and in May you should be back in full swing. Imagine, however, that March and April will also drop by over 50%. Do you have the money? If you don't have them, then:
i. Reduce costs that are not essential.
ii. Negotiate in advance with suppliers
iii. Negotiate, if you have a good relationship, with the bank
iv. Request discount on rent



Talk to all these people in advance and at least partially renegotiate the terms of the situation so that you can be covered under the cash plan. Postpone investments that do not bring an immediate return or a return in the short term but that undermine the company in an important way under the liquidity plan. Keep the cash.



If you had subscribed to the scrapping or installment of the Equitalia folders and you realized that you are not able to pay the next installments, please contact immediately INSS at info@imprenditorenonseisolo.it so that we quickly put you in contact with one of our accountants who can help you see what the best way to approach this situation is.



b. If you operate in hospitality-related sectors, you have to make a move and you have to start promoting immediately like a madman, especially if you relied on foreign tourists. At Easter many will not come and several may, due to the explosion of the coronavirus in their country or afraid of newspapers, decide not to take their summer holidays in Italy. Build and promote packages for Italian tourists, look in your database for all those who have already come to visit you and call them, visit them, find them. If they came once, they can come back. If you have a restaurant, start making offers, events, special dinners, agreements with companies for their meetings, etc. etc.



You should also do the financial stress test, just a little harder.



Expect to have revenue down as much as 50% until September. What would you do in such a case?



3. Recover money with debt collection by putting a person dedicated to the activity or, if you know you are dealing with a company that has not been affected by the measures against epidemic, you could also promote advance payment of invoices that expire in the future with a discount. It will allow you to have liquidity right away.



4. If you work with spare parts that arrive from the East, expect that there will be a hole that goes from three to six weeks in the supply chain. Try to find local suppliers or, if you have a full warehouse, you could hear some of your competitors and share your spare parts with them and have access to them. In China, where they learned about agility, there were restaurants that, having to remain empty, offered food for sale to the public and were also able to sell it.



5. OPPORTUNITIES: if you are one of those companies that has suffered strong competition from Made in China manufacturing, know that perhaps a season of opportunity could open for you: the Chinese supply chain is in great difficulty, there could be your old ones customers looking for the product and not finding it. Contact all your old customers even if you are no longer competitive and come back to make yourself heard. Even when this bogeyman passes, many companies, especially the more structured ones, will be afraid to rely only on a supplier in the east but will want to have back-up suppliers here in Europe. For example, you need to know that several American or British pharmaceutical companies are going through a crisis because India and China are no longer giving them antibiotics or ingredients for medicines. We could be competitive again. If the Chinese took your business away, well, maybe there would be a new opportunity.



6. Communicate with customers: inform them of what your business is doing, be transparent, show that you are willing to go the extra mile for them. If you and your company are still not present on social networks in an important way, know that perhaps this is the time to take them into consideration. Communicate with foreign customers: inform them that you are well and what is happening in Italy. Explain (if applicable) that no one in your company is ill and that you expect to be fully operational again (if you have been blocked in some way) by the end of March. Ask them to collaborate with their governments to reduce the chances of contagion, not so much for the medical effects, which as we have seen are probably not so serious after all, but for the very heavy economic effects that the measures against contagion would trigger in their countries.



Do not withdraw from communication: with customers, with sellers and with potential customers. Know that according to the decree of the Prime Minister last night, events or training are not prohibited but only events and training that create a gathering that violates the rule of distance between people. So do not cancel all the events and meetings you have planned: you would only lose ground. Stay in touch with your sales network. If necessary, create small meetings on the territory. Keep your company close to you.



7. If you operate in the sectors of education, training, entertainment, consultancy, fairs, know that new technology-based business models will take off more quickly having received an acceleration from the present crisis. The same could be said of everything related to smart working. The present crisis will give a strong acceleration to DIGITIZATION which after Coronavirus has passed will become a normal ingredient in our lives. Think about what's going on in high and middle schools with young people studying remotely and doing webinars: technology will change our lives and their lives even more. How can you make your company even more technological?



8. Explore new ways to bring your value: enhance e-commerce, if you are in hospitality, consider delivery by initially leaning on one of the many platforms that are there and becoming a student of this new activity. Don't abandon what you are doing now to just run after the new trend. Start distance learning by embracing webinars and directing Facebook to communicate.



9. If you realize that, due to the decline in the business, you are unable to meet personnel costs, immediately consult your consultant to activate the redundancy measures. I know, I hate them too, but sometimes there is no other choice to save the company. If you do not have a good job consultant who can follow you, ask us and we will quickly put you in touch with a business partner group consultant, accountants and job consultants who are business coaches. If you don't know what to do to reduce costs, just DON'T BE LOCKED BY FEAR! Come to one of our offices or to one of our events (where people sit strictly 1 meter away) and cry for help: we will help you. Don't go underwater.



10. If you have a sales network or an external network that visits customers, do not let fear take over but make sure that they have a project and that they visit customers or, if they are afraid, that they contact them via Skype. Know that, even in moments of crisis, the semi-finished products of the sale (fixed appointments, visits to customers, quotes, etc.) lead to results. If you go to visit customers, you collect something, if you are on FB to post on Coronavirus maybe a little less. There is nothing wrong with pushing your men.



11. Remember that even if there is a crisis, your creditors and the state will not want to hear from you. So you have to organize yourself so that even if you are in crisis, you are not all busy talking about coronavirus and buying masks and Amuchina gel. Put one of your staff to manage the crisis (or manage it yourself) but put a strong manager to push the business results (sales, service delivery, etc.).



12. Whether it takes a month, whether it takes two, this is for sure: sooner or later this story of the Corona Virus will end and then, whether the government takes measures for the economy or not, it will return to normal. The essence of this handbook is that when that moment arrives your company will be ready to seize the opportunities and start again. Because you know that there will be a restart. Agility, quick decision, versatility, desire to re-invent the business model, and even a little creativity, will be some of the new skills required to face this period.



Then know that at the end of this crisis, as it has been for all the crises of the past, you will find yourself facing a changed world. We will never go back to the way we were before, so what this tragic event that is affecting our country requires is to: a) survive, b) have the courage to get out of our comfort zone and reinvent ourselves. People have always defeated all the viruses on their way and have become stronger and stronger.



It will be like this once again.

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13/03/2020

Here is a note that we sent to Sequoia founders and CEOs today to provide guidance on how to ensure the health of their business while dealing with potential business consequences of the spreading effects of the coronavirus.


Dear Founders & CEOs,


Coronavirus is the black swan of 2020. Some of you (and some of us) have already been personally impacted by the virus. We know the stress you are under and are here to help. With lives at risk, we hope that conditions improve as quickly as possible. In the interim, we should brace ourselves for turbulence and have a prepared mindset for the scenarios that may play out.


All of you have been inundated by suggestions for precautions to take around COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of you, your employees, and your families. Like many, we have studied the available information and would be happy to share our point of view — please let us know if that is of interest. This note is about something else: ensuring the health of your business while dealing with potential business consequences of the spreading effects of the virus.


Unfortunately, because of Sequoia’s presence in many regions around the world, we are gaining first-hand knowledge of coronavirus’ effects on global business. As with all crises, there are some businesses that stand to benefit. However, many companies in frontline countries are facing challenges as a result of the virus outbreak, including:
Drop in business activity. Some companies have seen their growth rates drop sharply between December and February. Several companies that were on track are now at risk of missing their Q1–2020 plans as the effects of the virus ripple wider.


Supply chain disruptions. The unprecedented lockdown in China is directly impacting global supply chains. Hardware, direct-to-consumer, and retailing companies may need to find alternative suppliers. Pure software companies are less exposed to supply chain disruptions, but remain at risk due to cascading economic effects.


Curtailment of travel and canceled meetings. Many companies have banned all “non-essential” travel and some have banned all international travel. While travel companies are directly impacted, all companies that depend on in-person meetings to conduct sales, business development, or partnership discussions are being affected.


It will take considerable time — perhaps several quarters — before we can be confident that the virus has been contained. It will take even longer for the global economy to recover its footing. Some of you may experience softening demand; some of you may face supply challenges. While The Fed and other central banks can cut interest rates, monetary policy may prove a blunt tool in alleviating the economic ramifications of a global health crisis.


We suggest you question every assumption about your business, including:
Cash runway. Do you really have as much runway as you think? Could you withstand a few poor quarters if the economy sputters? Have you made contingency plans? Where could you trim expenses without fundamentally hurting the business? Ask these questions now to avoid potentially painful future consequences.


Fundraising. Private financings could soften significantly, as happened in 2001 and 2009. What would you do if fundraising on attractive terms proves difficult in 2020 and 2021? Could you turn a challenging situation into an opportunity to set yourself up for enduring success? Many of the most iconic companies were forged and shaped during difficult times. We partnered with Cisco shortly after Black Monday in 1987. Google and PayPal soldiered through the aftermath of the dot-com bust. More recently, Airbnb, Square, and Stripe were founded in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis. Constraints focus the mind and provide fertile ground for creativity.


Sales forecasts. Even if you don’t see any direct or immediate exposure for your company, anticipate that your customers may revise their spending habits. Deals that seemed certain may not close. The key is to not be caught flat-footed.


Marketing. With softening sales, you might find that your customer lifetime values have declined, in turn suggesting the need to rein in customer acquisition spending to maintain consistent returns on marketing spending. With greater economic and fundraising uncertainty, you might even want to consider raising the bar on ROI for marketing spend.


Headcount. Given all of the above stress points on your finances, this might be a time to evaluate critically whether you can do more with less and raise productivity.


Capital spending. Until you have charted a course to financial independence, examine whether your capital spending plans are sensible in a more uncertain environment. Perhaps there is no reason to change plans and, for all you know, changing circumstances may even present opportunities to accelerate. But these are decisions that should be deliberate.


Having weathered every business downturn for nearly fifty years, we’ve learned an important lesson — nobody ever regrets making fast and decisive adjustments to changing circumstances. In downturns, revenue and cash levels always fall faster than expenses. In some ways, business mirrors biology. As Darwin surmised, those who survive “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”


A distinctive feature of enduring companies is the way their leaders react to moments like these. Your employees are all aware of COVID-19 and are wondering how you will react and what it means for them. False optimism can easily lead you astray and prevent you from making contingency plans or taking bold action. Avoid this trap by being clinically realistic and acting decisively as circumstances change. Demonstrate the leadership your team needs during this stressful time.


Here is some perspective from our partner Alfred Lin, who lived through another black swan moment as an operating executive:


“I was serving as the COO/CFO of Zappos when I was summoned to Sequoia’s office for the infamous R.I.P. Good Times presentation in 2008, prior to the financial crisis. We didn’t know then, just like we don’t know now, how long or how sharp or shallow of a downturn we will face. What I can confirm is that the presentation made our team and our business stronger. Zappos emerged from the financial crisis ready to seize on opportunities after our competitors had been battered and bruised.”


Stay healthy, keep your company healthy, and put a dent in the world.

https://medium.com/sequoia-capital/coronavirus-the-black-swan-of-2020-7c72bdeb9753?fbclid=IwAR3u360opUDYKeQUQ0F6KmO-GI-8J8XuWKQuWfQsUPrIwfdinOTKKz_tWZw
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12/02/2020

Today I spent one day with 200 of managers of the best Bulgarian companies to discuss about people management and motivation. 

It was a very interesting day and had to know some really impressive people. 

The slides of my presentation are attached

My Bulgarian friends can also follow me on my bulgarian FB page https://www.facebook.com/PaoloRuggeriOsmBulgaria/ 

Paolo Ruggeri

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22/01/2020

Yesterday I have been in Chepelere at Amer Sports, one of the best ski manufacturing company in Europe and I have worked with the managers on the topic of People Management. 

The strategies I have advised: 

1) Learn to get out of the comfort zone
2) Categorize well your people: know where they stand at 
3) An umproductive employee is like a locked door: consider yourself the cause and do not blame 
4) Understand and use praise 
5) Involve people 
6) Care about them: they are human being and not just employees. 

The slides of my presentation are attached.

Paolo Ruggeri

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18/12/2019


Are you being the cause or the effect of your problems? This App offers you the right strategies that will allow you to create a strong and positive change in your personal life and in your professional activity! Identify the most common mistakes which have made you fail to achieve personal success and take the right actions in order to make your dreams come true! The key to success, to reach abundance and to become a champion in whatever activity you have chosen is in your hands! 

A special APP that allows you to train and improve wherever you are and whenever you want. See your prosperity increase, see the people around you begin to smile, to be happy and to win and regain something that previously no one has considered important: yourself!

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For IOS click here: https://apps.apple.com/it/app/business-class-osm/id1477463552

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