The lack of visibility

It’s the lack of visibility that’s got us tripped up about the economy. Just look at today’s SF Chronicle. On one hand, there’s an article on page C5 entitled “Fragile Economy improves a bit“, which sounds like good news . . . but it’s juxtaposed with a continuing article from page C1 entitled “Dow plunges 358 points, hits lowest level in 2 years“. It’s almost funny that the continuing headline on page C5 right before the “Fragile Economy improves” is the tagline about “a slew of troubling signs”.

In my daily conversations with executives, the most troubling issue they face is the lack of visibility . . . will the economy improve? When? How quickly? When will it start? There’s such a feast of dueling data that most executives are confounded about how to reliably plan for the future.

So, for now, stick with the tried and true: “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best”. Cut costs where needed but be sure you’re also investing in the right places, taking care of your high performers and not throwing the baby out with the bath water.

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