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Consultants Estimate Length of Economic Misery

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC) asked its global membership to evaluate the current economic trauma. Here is a representative sampling.

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach and president of Working Resources, a strategic talent management firm in San Francisco, California. He specializes in executive coaching, career coaching, and leadership development for developing emotionally intelligent leaders and lawyers. He offers a few insights:

"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 turn around. 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 US 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."

"The smartest CEOs in the country seem to break into two camps," notes David Fields, managing director of Ascendant Consulting in Ridgefield, CT. "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. The Great Depression showed us unequivocally that companies which ramp up marketing in down markets disproportionately drive the economy and enjoy similarly disproportionate gains in market share."

Alan Weiss, Ph.D., CEO of SAC, adds, "Our membership believes that 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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