By Wes Teague, Senior Vice President, Capstone Strategic, Inc.
Are we living in a period of paradox, or under a new paradigm?
- Interest rates are at all-time lows (and have been for a sustained period)
- Many corporate coffers are flush with unused (and un-earning) cash
- Trillions of investment dollars are on the sidelines – waiting, it seems for any opportunity to jump back in, if only a good time to do so would present itself
Yet growth is stymied, hiring is stalled, consumer purchases are flat, investment is generally non-existent. This seems to me to be a paradox.
Unless what we are experiencing is indeed a new paradigm. The bloated inventories, inefficient manufacturing practices, and unbridled enthusiasm of the 1990s led to a financial collapse that, while not nearly as severe as our current situation, was severe enough. This caused a business process revolution – a new paradigm – that resulted in just-in-time delivery, and an entire new way of manufacturing and product delivery.
The current status may also be a new paradigm. Greater savings, lower consumption, and stricter fiscal discipline by consumers and producers alike may be the new norm.
If the latter is the case, then business owners need to plan accordingly, for business growth is still required to survive. A deeper look at what you do and how you do it, a more objective review of markets and segments, and a structured plan on how to expand is absolutely necessary if you expect to grow your business.
A head in the sand will not work, whether we are in a paradox or a new paradigm. Action, not apathy, is what is required today.