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Date : December, 02 , 2009 Publication : StarThe - Workplace Page Number: 9

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WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 2 2009 IT'S THE FINAL ROUND OF THE YEAR SO GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT, ADVISES TIMOTHY WEBSTER

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JOHN DE MARTINI ON THE RECESSION AND HOW HUMAN NATURE WILL MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN AGAIN

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< LEADERSHIP AND UFE LESSONS FROM TONI FOURIE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF ELLERINE HOLDINGS BACK

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Date : December, 02 , 2009 Publication : StarThe - Workplace Page Number: 9

Recession - above or below the mean Present economic times are related to human nature THEO GARRUN

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MERICAN psychologist and business guru John de Martini is in South Africa doing a series of talks and I used the opportunity to get his take on recession and what the world of business will look like once the world economy recovers. Somewhat surprisingly, he does not subscribe to the view held by some that lessons will be learned and that transparency and greater social responsibility will lessen the chance of something like this happening again. He relates the situation to human nature and believes that the cyclical pattern in the economy can be explained in terms of basic human psychology.

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cases (or even in recession). They are, as he puts it. below the mean and in these times altruistic values come to the fore. At other times the economy is above the mean. Demand exceeds supply and people are able to make plenty of money That's when greed kicks in and mistakes are made. This. De Martini believes, has been the reason for the current situation. "People become addicted to the pleasure. They become greedy managing other people's money to creJOHN DE MARTINI ate wealth for themselves and there "It's all about variations around is little regard for the possibility a mean." he says. "Human beings that it may come crashing down." typically find themselves either he says. "That's what happened in above the mean - in which case the 2008. and because of the high levels forces of nature strive to pull them of virtual wealth created, it has down - or below the mean, and been painful for some." striving to rise up again." So. according to him. the world The economy behaves in the economy now finds itself below the same way There are times when the mean. Supply exceeds demand and levels of supply of goods and serv- we are looking for ways to rise ices are above the levels of their de- above the mean again. mand. Economies are slow in such "In times like these the degree of

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greed diminishes and organisations tend to become more altruistic,'' he says. "They start recognising the value of their people and use the quieter times to do things like brand-building and introducing controls on personal bonuses." He believes the current emphasis on saving the planet and looking for "greener" ways of doing business is an example of this. But it's all part of a cycle and once the economy starts to pick up and people become greedy again It w ill all be forgotten in the headlong rush to make money "That's human nature. History has shown that we don't learn from our mistakes and these 'corrections' to the economy follow a regular cycle of about eight years from peak to peak." There will, however, be some changes, De Martini believes. There has been a surge in new technology and it's likely, in the short-term anyway, that companies

will be looking to use new technology to automate and become more efficient. "This will increase unemployment until the upswing in the econ omy sparks entrepreneurial activity and raise employment levels again." De Martini also believes that the levels of attention given to greed as a cause of the current crisis will lead to some regulatory changes aimed at preventing a re occurrence. "That may slow such an event down, or reduce its effects, but it cannot prevent it from happening," he says. "It's human nature." â&#x20AC;˘ John de Martini is holding Stress to Success and Build Wealth in 2010 workshops in Johannesburg tonight and tomorrow night. Both begin at 7pm. Tonight's session is in the Ballroom at the Montecasino Hotel and tomorrows at the Rosebank Hotel. Tickets are available from Computicket or at the door.


Dr Demartini featured article on Recession in SA newspaper the Star - 2 Dec 2009