Power Point: Use the crisis as a defining event

February 20, 2009, 5:45 AM UTC

“You have to say that we will be in this for a long time and we will turn this into a defining event, a big catalyst to make ourselves a much stronger enterprise. Our characters are being forged in a burning, searing crucible.”

– Jim Collins, management guru and author of Built to Last and Good to Great, in a Q&A with Fortune’s Jennifer Reingold. The crucible Collins refers to got even hotter today as the Dow slumped to a six-year low, dropping 89 points, or 1.2%, and closing at the lowest point since Oct. 9, 2002.

But drawing on his work from the past several years studying how companies manage to navigate through turbulent times, Collins concludes that there is a silver lining: “One of the big lessons we’ve learned is that turbulence is your friend. If you were disciplined and prepared before the storm came, you should be thankful for those times.” –Jessica Shambora