CEO Tools Blog
April 12 Seasons: Economy-->Caution!
Appropriate of April, 12-Seasons probably should be "spring showers to bring May flowers" and was supposed to be our month for a good, solid re-look at economic conditions for us who run businesses. But that's been made nearly impossible since our stalled-out Government cannot decide what to do about the deficit...contemplated cuts are far too small, and they haven't even begun to address the real problems of medicare, medicaid, social security, and jobless subsidies (including food stamps)...or long term job-creation. These challenges currently total about $127 trillion of actual debt (that's not a typo). Fiddling while Rome burns sort of comes to mind!
We only mention all that because taken in total, it stalls our economy. Business can't possibly see much of the future when Government can't decide, so business doesn't invest or strike out for a better tomorrow while worried about survivng the present. And then even when Government does decide, it opts for momentary, temporary, delayed, and tentative stability in exchange for long-term growth and prosperity.
This in turn makes a solid forecast very hard to come by, other than to say the remainder of 2011 looks rocky from a credit, cash, and growth standpoint for most industries and most businesses, with some opportunistic options for a few businesses and locales.
With that in mind, we should experience a continued slow, sporadic, and siloed recovery over last year (not anywhere near back to 2007-2008 levels) but still creating opportunity for some. As business leaders we must choose our inidvidual business paths accordingly, cautiously, and with frequent "re-looks" at the near-term future. For me this implies planning only about 3-months out at a time, reviewing and renewing planned action steps perhaps even every month. And, keeping our audiences informed (employees, suppliers and customers) is critical to their buy-in and continued support.
Hope this helps in planning the rest of this year. Let us know how to improve these ideas when you have a chance.
Very best regards, Kraig