When it comes to the economy, nobody seems to know what is going on. Journalists, financial pundits and politicians alike are navigating uncharted water. They are, for all practical purposes, making it up as they go along.
This might sound like a criticism but it isn’t: it is a statement of fact. With little historical precedent (and the Great Depression is a dubious comparison–different times and different circumstances despite any similarities), managers and leaders have to try lots of stuff based on their best hunches and informed intuition. There aren’t any other options.
What is critical is agility. As a financial strategist recently shared, you can’t stay the course if feedback says something isn’t working. That’s what I mean by agility: the ability to not only move quickly but adjust on the fly. Long-term strategy doesn’t work well in times like these.
Agility requires being very open to feedback. It is like driving a car: you can’t pick a direction and then hold the steering wheel perfectly still. You make adjustments as necessary. Over-adjusting and not adjusting appropriately have the same result (you wreck).
This is not a time for the faint of heart. Don’t “stay the course”–stay agile.