Monday, June 16, 2014

Is “a Rising Tide Lifts All Boats” the right analogy for what we see happening in the economy right now?

By Steve Worth

I think not, because it implies everyone will benefit as the economy continues to improve incrementally.  But clearly we can all see that while some boats are being lifted others are sinking and still others are languishing where they are with no sense of movement up or down….. 

No, the boat analogy doesn’t hold water…. I suggest a train station analogy might be better.  Trains are leaving the station and taking some to their destinations.  Others are finding out they are on the wrong trains and going to God-knows-where… while still others are waiting, waiting, waiting, with no idea whether their train will be coming by or not.

We hear some in the consulting world saying that the rapidity of change and its unpredictability spells the death of strategic planning, but that is not entirely what I see.  We are indeed in uncharted waters in that all of us are living and having to compete in a flat, global market along with seven billion other human beings who are every bit as intelligent and hard working as we.  Never in the history of the world have we seen such a scenario.  But while some are freezing up in panic and uncertainty over this newly emerged competition, others are seeing opportunity in new markets and are going for it--and they are doing so in a transparent, open-minded, well-researched, and thoughtful manner.  

The planners are finding the resources they need to get to the destinations they have selected while the bewildered and fearful sit on what reserves they may have and hope to wait out the storm—either that or they take refuge with those who see themselves as victims of some blame-worthy person or thing.

This is the only explanation I can see for why the economic indicators are so confusing and why this “recession” seems to be so drawn out.  In fact, we are not in a recession nor even recovering from one.  We are in a new world and those who are researching and planning and using their brains to chart new paths are doing better than those who are following tradition. 

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