Glimmers of hope: Consultants estimate length of economic misery
The Society for Advancement of Consulting asked its global membership to evaluate the current economic trauma. Presented here is a representative sampling of insight gained.
The Society for Advancement of Consulting ( SAC) asked its global membership to evaluate the current economic trauma. Presented here is a representative sampling of insight gained.
Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach and president of Working Resources , a San Francisco-based strategic talent management firm. Dr. Brusman specializes in executive coaching, career coaching, and leadership development for developing emotionally intelligent leaders. He offers this insight:
"How long will the global economic nose-dive go on? There are glimmers of hope in the doom and gloom, but most experts don’t see recovery until at least mid-2009.
"Once the massive amount of fiscal stimulus by governments around the globe kicks in, and consumer confidence and optimism increases we may see a turnaround. Millions of jobs will need to be created, putting people back to work——and consumers will need to start spending again. One bright note is that the real estate sector that led the U.S. economy into this morass may be about to turn the corner, perhaps as early as this summer.
"I am seeing an uptick in clients seeking career coaching and help with stress management to better cope with financial distress and job loss. Clients shaken by the economic tsunami are reflecting on creating work with meaning and purpose. The economic downturn may have created a new wave of happy business entrepreneurs."
According to David Fields, managing director of Ascendant Consulting , Ridgefield, Conn., “The smartest CEOs in the country seem to break into two camps. I surveyed 50 leading CEOs on this topic at the end of December, and the optimistic group indicated a recovery would begin the first quarter of 2010, citing American ingenuity as the driver of our ascent from the gloom. The more globally oriented CEOs think the recession will drag on, with the domestic economy being held down by an extended recession in Asia.
"The reality is that were in for a rough 2009 and the companies which invest in marketing and innovation during the recession will thrive over the next 12 months and pull us into a healthier economy by mid-2010,” Fields continues. “The Great Depression showed us unequivocally that companies that ramp up marketing in down markets disproportionately drive the economy and enjoy similarly disproportionate gains in market share.” (see
in this issue.)
A new style
Alan Weiss, Ph.D., CEO of SAC, adds, "Our membership believes the worst may be yet to come but will be over on the shorter end of the scale, not the longer, primarily because public perception is fueling so much of the pessimism. We believe that an ease of credit lending from the banks—which may well be nationalized for all intents and purposes—combined with a continued very positive reaction to President Obama's style will lead to greater optimism and therefore a quicker recovery."
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.