A Plan Recognizes The Changes In Advance – #52

In 1964 – 1965 I took my two week vacation and Karin and I took off for New York City, where we had a great time and spent extensive time at THE WORLDS FAIR. I knew that the FAIR would be as great as the one I attended in Brussels, Belgium (1958) while being stationed in Munich, Germany. The Fair was better than expected, and looking back, I quickly learned that the businesses sponsoring The Fair tended to be too optimistic about what the future will bring. A business has to have a plan, No matter how short – the plan will be in place and reviewed on a quarterly basis. See Blog # for a review of the content of the one page plan.

In looking back at photos I also ran across a 321p. guide which contained ads featuring products from sponsors and supporters. All the folks published in the guide, wanted to be with their Futurama Pavilion. All the World Fair pavilions and tenants are gone, but I distinctly remember all the businesses thinking they were “It” the Future, but absent from American Life only 50+ years later. We both were excited about TWA’S exhibit on supersonic flight, but has been declared obsolete. Then there is TWA which made it until 2001 when it was absorbed into AMERICAN AIRLINES. Oldsmobile had an exhibit that featured the slogan “be our guest for a trip into the future”.

As I kept looking at the pictures and the guide, there was a bittersweet feeling developing as I thought about the exhibit from Bell Telephone which was broken up in 1984. There was A&P “we will continue to bring more good food to more people for less money” – seems somewhat corny, but at the time it was business, and there was Shea stadium which was demolished in 2009. There were pictures of places to eat in New York which have been gone for some time: Forum of the Twelve Caesars, Tower Suite, Schrafft’s. How about Chun-King and Eastern Airlines? In the area of transportation: Mercury and Rambler cars, plus the NYC Airways Helicopter shuttle. What a wonderful review of the pictures and the old WORLD FAIR guide.

Managers have to have a Vision and a broad reach into the overall business changes happening – on a GLOBAL basis. In 1965 the GLOBAL dominance of the U.S. was not dependent on what other countries were doing. Today, a Manager not only has to be aware of domestic challenges, but has to be aware of the GLOBAL IMPACT OF THE VARIOUS ACTIONS conducted by a series of Countries. A SHORT AND LONG TERM PLAN has to be developed by Management to avoid
businesses hitting a wall. The plans don’t have to be elaborate, but have-to-have content that justifies the sustainability of the business in one and five year increments – with focus on upside/downside contingencies. Start with the one-year plan for 2020 and hone your planning skills.
It’s not your choice to do so as a Manager – you simply have to get with the numerous programs that are available. You are responsible to the people who make it happen day-in-and day out for your business (employees); your suppliers; your shareholders, and finally You the Person in charge of directing the success. Remember, “It Starts and Ends with Management”.