Darwin and Surviving the Recession

This time it was about boiling frogs. It’s just possible that there may be one or two people out there today who haven’t heard the sad tale of how to make frog soup. So, briefly, it seems that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately sense the danger and jump out quickly. If, on the other hand, you put it into a pot of cold water and gradually heat the thing up, the frog fails to sense the temperature rise until it is too late.

“That’s very interesting” observed our Personnel Manager (for this was a long time ago… before HR), “but of what relevance is that to us here and now?”

Stunned by the unusual directness of the question… especially from ‘Personnel’… the boss explained that it was all about our being aware that pressure can build up on people without their recognising the fact. We, as good managers, needed to keep an eye on our people and notice the warning signs. I’m still not quite sure whether he intended us to avoid putting pressure on our people, build it up slowly and support when necessary or ‘hit them hard from the start to see how they reacted’. You never quite knew with Tom… but the boiling frog entered our vocabulary and folklore.

It’s probably right at this point to make the observation that I have nothing against frogs per se. I’d have to admit they wouldn’t make my ‘top 10 animals list’… that may be something do with, as a young boy, having sat down on a grassy bank one afternoon to feel a weird wriggly moist sensation. Looking down I found a small frog oozing its way from underneath my bare leg, it shook itself and hopped off to find somewhere safer to rest. So, not in my top 10…but I mean them no real ill, so long as they just stay away from me, Yuk!
So, why am I thinking about the frog right now?

Well, like most people I’m acutely conscious that things aren’t so easy ‘out there’ at the moment and that many of us are feeling the pressure in our own way. Hopefully most of us will recognise that pressure and find our own safety valve but others may not and will end up being boiled.

That’s also where Darwin comes in. This year we’re recognising the bicentenary of the birth of the man. Listening to some of the reports of how he went about his business you might question the methods but, I guess, it was a different time… standards and expectation were, well, different. Whether, or not, you accept the validity and truth of his work in the context of the development of life on earth I think that some of his observations can be usefully applied in the business environment.

Darwin talked about evolution by natural selection, which he summarised as having a number of characteristics or phases

Overproduction – favourable conditions allow a population to increase in size. Environmental pressures in time will limit the number that can survive. I’m reminded of the old Monty Python sketch about ‘Whicker Island’

The thrust of the sketch is that… “There are just too many Whickers” and “There just aren’t enough rich people left to interview”. Oversupply of interviewers combined with a limited demand for interviews consigned the ‘Whickers’ to a desert island and, ultimately, extinction.

There are obvious parallels in business. When times are good and people (and businesses) have plenty of disposable income they’re happy to spend on non-essentials or nice to have’s. When it gets tougher they start to question just how much they can afford to spend on fancy restaurants, designer clothes or new cars. Just how many personal, business and/or life coaches does the world really need and as for consultants…?

Competition- Darwin reckoned that, due to environmental pressures, the organisms within a population must compete with each other to survive. I go to a lot of business and networking events where there appears to be little or no competitive element. Indeed, I was a member of one such organisation that allows only one member from each profession or trade and restricts visitors whose activities might present internal competition. I understand and agree, in principle, with the thought process behind that rule… that it reduces the possibility of confusion between members and locks out competition, enhancing the perceived value of membership.

Getting Your Ideal Accommodation at Affordable Rates

There are also many travelers who insist on staying in hotels which are convenient for their needs, such as having certain relevant amenities such as spas and business centres, and possessing a location which enables them to travel to the financial district or main tourist sights with ease. For others, staying in a luxurious accommodation which allows them to immerse in absolute comfort is their idea of a nice hotel.

You may now be wondering, can you get fantastic deals for hotels with these attributes? Spending some time to conduct basic research on the location, amenities and rates of different hotels in your destination would be helpful in getting a hotel which can provide a superior guest experience for reasonable rates. I shall elaborate what cheap nice hotels should be really all about and how you can secure excellent deals for them.

Impressive selection of amenities and services

Low cost hotels need not be lacking in amenities and services; in fact many of them have offerings which can rival those that are commonplace in luxurious accommodation, thus adequately satisfying your needs. Swimming pools, fitness centers, free meals, WiFI, room service and even small kitchens are becoming the norm in these hotels.

Cheaper incarnations of luxury accommodation

An emerging breed of budget accommodation comes in the form of hotels that are modeled after their more pricey counterparts. For instance, budget boutique hotels provide a similar decor, ambiance and amenities to those of regular boutique hotels, such as flat-screen TVs in the rooms and shared spaces for discussions among guests.

Getting good deals for luxury accommodation

Just because you do not have a budget for luxury hotels does not mean that you cannot stay in one. This is because you can enjoy great savings off luxury hotels through special promotion deals, so keep your eyes peeled for them.

Helpful tips to get you started in getting cheap hotel deals

To get the most competitive online rates for your hotels, you have to ascertain which attributes you want from your hotel, especially the amenities, services and location. You can get the most accurate information about possible options in your destination through aggregator websites. This would help you shortlist a certain room type which you may want to find the best deals for.

To proceed in doing so, you can try comparing rooms sharing similar amenities among the different hotel chains in the area, or even expand your search to include hotels which a short distance away from where you have originally decided to stay, as their rates can vary significantly among hotels. You can easily find attractive hotel deals by visiting online travel agents’ websites, which typically offer discounted rates following negotiation with hotels.