Friday, February 15, 2008

What I’m Hearing…Economic Downturns

Listening to the news nowadays, it sounds like the American economy is in a bad way. Certainly, mortgage issues, the cost of oil and gas, and a variety of other factors are impacting our nation’s economy in a less than positive manner.

I heard about an interesting and unique article in the 2/13/08 issue of Financial Times regarding the American economy and its health. The article’s author notes that small business owners, at least in the first quarter of 2008, are NOT seeing a downturn in their businesses. According to the article, Proctor & Gamble can tell us more about our economy than one might think.

When there is a significant slowdown in the economy, consumers tend to shift from brand label products to generics in an effort to save money. Proctor & Gamble’s earnings report, however, does not show that this transition is happening. This finding correlates with anecdotal evidence from a Financial Times survey.

As the economy might be stronger than some members of the media report, it’s important that we continue our efforts to recruit and retain the best talent. When the economy picks up again – and it will – key players must be in place in order to push our organizations to the next level of success. Hiding ineffective HR practices or a lack of succession planning behind the veil of “a bad economy” won’t lead to the success that’s needed moving forward.

What have you done recently to make sure your organization is strategically positioned for the coming year?

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