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The Art of And

Growing While Cutting Costs
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  • In today’s tough and uncertain times, CEOs must not only cut costs and improve performance, but also provide the capacity and confidence needed to finance growth.

  • They can do so by mastering the “art of and”—shoring up their short-term performance while also having the courage to invest in new pathways to growth.

  • This ability is what will separate the winners from the rest—and also create jobs—as we emerge from the Great Recession.

 

The business community, like everybody else, is trying to make sense of the mixed signals coming from the economy. The U.S. unemployment rate, for example, dropped to 9.7 percent in January, down from 10 percent in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, but at the same time the economy shed another 20,000 net jobs.

Meanwhile, U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 shot up to a reported 5.7 percent. But this preliminary number probably won’t hold when the first correction comes out—and even if it does, no one expects 2010 to sustain a level of growth anywhere near that, with most educated predictions falling within the 2.8 to 3 percent range.

And Europe has its own fears, with the value of the euro falling and Greece, Spain, and Portugal rumored to be near default.