Bain uses cookies to improve functionality and performance of this site. More information can be found in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to browse this site, you consent to the use of cookies.

HBR Press

Winning in Turbulence (Memo to the CEO)

What moves do you need to make now to ensure your company's survival—and its future success?

  • August 24, 2009
  • min read


Winning in Turbulence (Memo to the CEO)

Turbulence creates extraordinary threats and opportunities. Many companies won't survive, others will be considerably weakened, but some will rise to the top of their industries. What will separate the winners from the losers as the cycle plays out? What moves do you need to make now to ensure your company's survival—and its future success?

In Winning in Turbulence, the latest in the Memo to the CEO series, Bain & Company downturn strategist Darrell Rigby argues that the right moves in a recession depend on where your company stands on three dimensions: how hard your industry is hit by the downturn, your company's strategic position, and your company's financial strength. The book identifies eight specific strategies, including "overtake the timid," "refocus and retool," "lighten the load," and "full speed ahead"—and provides a powerful diagnostic tool for assessing which position matches your firm's current situation.

Based on Bain research and practical experience guiding hundreds of companies through previous downturns, the book shows how you can create an action plan that takes you from your current position in the downturn to a stronger leadership position when the economy recovers. Rigby provides practical tools you can implement now to improve short-term flexibility, keep the business moving forward, and position for the future by:

  • Clarifying strategies and shifting resources into your core business
  • Aggressively managing costs and improving cash flow
  • Boosting revenues and increasing margins
  • Pursuing game-changing acquisitions and partnerships

Concise and practical, Winning in Turbulence is the must-have guide for navigating through turbulent times—and succeeding as the economy starts to improve.

Buy the book at Amazon.comLearn more at 

Darrell Rigby is a Partner in Bain & Company's Boston office and heads the firm's Global Retail and Global Innovation practices. He is a frequent speaker and writer on strategy for managing in a downturn and has authored numerous Harvard Business Review articles.


Want to continue the conversation?

We help global leaders with their organization's most critical issues and opportunities. Together, we create enduring change and results.