Future success depends on flexible goals, stance

by. Lisa Hochgraf

“Your economist cannot forecast the next recession,” Bill Conerly, Ph.D., told participants in CUES’ Execu/Summit in March. “What are you going to do about that?”

Conerly, an economist and president of Conerly Consulting, Lake Oswego, Ore., suggested that credit unions can deal with this reality by having flexible goals and a flexible stance.

According to Conerly, Usain Bolt–the fastest man in the world–stays completely focused on making a straight and fast dash to the finish line. Such a set focus does not work for businesses in today’s world, Conerly said.

“The old approach to corporate planning was, ‘We come up with the one true vision of the future, and do plans for that one true vision of the future,'” Conerly said. Then he asked attendees to think back to doing planning in December 2007 and asking, “What does 2008 hold?” To decide, most businesses looked back at 2007. They also asked economists, “What do you see in the future?” The average of what was predicted was nothing like what actually happened.

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