Why avoid a Tsunami of budget cuts?

Freija KleijnenUncategorized

Remember the 8.9 earthquake in Japan, the resulting tsunami and the damage to two of their nuclear power plants? When visiting Japan, I was thinking if you can only imagine what you would do if a warning system sounded here in the Belgium or Europe for your business? 

For every business, you have risks to manage. How prepared are you and your business for a disaster ? Do you have a contingency plan if your most experienced people leave? Do you have medical supplies and training when a stupid accident happens? Do you have a back-up of all your data and knowledge after a crash? If a big international competitor enters, do you have a plan A or B? 

Only time will tell if you’ll dive straight through the wave and make it to the other side.

This article is inspired by my participation in the interactive format of “The Great Wave at Kanagawa”(1831-33) by Katsushika Hokusai (Borderless by Teamlab). Did you ever notice the fisherman in the boat? 

“The Great Wave at Kanagawa”(1831-33) by Katsushika Hokusai

It’s an intriguing painting. Even Rik Vera is wearing it as T-shirt. Dr. Witold Kinsner of Manitoba University, told this: 

“The large wave is a massive Yin to the Yang of empty space under it. The Yin violence of nature is dismissed by the yang relaxed confidence of the expert fishermen who will slide down the seamount and dive straight through the wave to make it to the other side.”

I’ve always liked the painting, but I had never thought of the picture in exactly these terms.

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And speaking of emergency preparedness and balanced risk managements … do you think as the expert fishermen? It is not easy to allocate time and money for contingency planning, data and knowledge back-ups, investments to stay relevant and different in the future, smarter working programs, … 

The bill is out there. Any way you slice it, allocation of money for the future is difficult. If we need money for sales programs today, how do balance those needs against not-if-but-when needs tomorrow? Obviously we want to reduce our vulnerability to inevitable disasters, but those disasters may not happen this year or next. 

I see often a tsunami of budget cuts that affects long term results and preparedness: research, innovation and training budget cuts. It’s a risky business: the outcomes are unforeseeable. Are you investing enough in the long term? In strategic plans, in risk management and your people of tomorrow? 


  • Begin a short piece that begins with an emergency, similar to a forest fire, a flood, a nuclear disaster… whatever.
  • Perhaps extraterrestrials have invaded our space. 
  • Emergencies lead to frayed nerves and short tempers. Personalities come into conflict. Perhaps a relationship unravels.
  • Or, conversely, sometimes people who have always been arguing and fighting for the last word, find that in survival mode, they have more in common than they thought.

Remember this: “Only time will tell if you’ll dive straight through the wave and make it to the other side”.

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About Ides Ticket: Founder of Business Markers. Worked at P&G, Coca-Cola and MTV Networks. Member of several boards. Gadget lover, energizer and challenger, husband, father of Arne and Kaat. 

If you would like to learn more about strategy making, telling or doing, feel free to contact me: ides@businessmarkers.com or send me a LinkedIn invite. And, of course, feel free to connect via Facebook or Instagram too.