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(Part 1 of 2: 5 Ways to Shore Up Your Position)

If you want to find the silver lining in the current economic calamity, you don't have to look far.

Nature provides an unlimited supply of models for how complex systems are recycled. Like a wildfire burning through an overgrown forest, every system has a rinse cycle.

It usually looks like destruction to us, but it's always followed by rebirth.

In a system, chaos and disorder are necessary precursors to reorganization and growth, and they signal significant opportunity for anyone smart enough to recognize the cycle.

Disorder functions to uncover the components of the system that have foundational strength—the fundamentals. But if you already know the fundamentals, you can find new footing quickly while your competitors remain distracted by the chaos.

Happily, for anyone responsible for a budget, pursuing the fundamentals doesn't require cash as much as it requires wit and persistence.

Part one of this two-part series includes five low- or no-cost initiatives you can pursue to shore up your marketing organization. Part two includes five initiatives to prepare for rebirth.

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Christopher Kenton Mr. Kenton is president and senior strategist at Cymbic, a full service marketing agency and consultancy (www.cymbic.com). Cymbic specializes in positioning and marketing technology products and businesses. He can be reached at ckenton@cymbic.com.