As I’ve mentioned before, a good businessperson makes contingency plans. But to make those plans, its necessary to have some insight into what the future will bring – which explains why agencies like Gartner, IDC, and Forrester make millions of dollars selling market research reports to companies who are seeking either:
- insight into the future
- a “market-tested” forecast that people are willing to trust
It also explains why many of the clients of my firm are very interested in contingency plans around the current economic downturn. As a result, my firm (and I’m sure many other consulting firms) is investing in producing a coherent point-of-view on the causes, duration, severity, and impact of the current recession, as well as quick perspectives on how companies in different industries may want to change their game to respond.
The trick behind forecasting, though, is to balance accuracy with believability and reasonable action-items… something that Dilbert’s company economist doesn’t seem to do very well at: