Michael Jackson's death has spurred nonstop coverage from CNN, the tabloids, and everything in between. The King of Pop is all over the Web. And it's rare to turn on a TV news program without Jackson at its center.
Since the launch of CNN and 24-hour news, we have been able to get our news whenever we want it. As the World Wide Web has grown, we've been able to get updates almost literally by the second – as we did earlier this week during the Los Angeles-based Jackson memorial service.
It really is incredible how we can garner information about an event halfway across the country close to real-time; it was not that long ago when we would have had to wait for the full report and pictures of the memorial service until the next morning's paper was delivered.
These days, we are nearly always focused on the story of the moment – and almost obsessively so.The current crisis" is always front and center, often overshadowing long-term, less "exciting" but arguably important issues, such as international climate change initiatives, long-running wars on other continents, the weaknesses in our education system, and so on.
This phenemonon of focusing on the present is not unlike what you'll find in many businesses today. They are focused on the Now, or the crisis of the moment. For most, that is a continued drop in sales and the need to make cuts to continue operating.
Many distributors put strategic planning on the backburner as they moved into survival mode. MDM has reported in the past on survey results that show that a good number of distributors do not have a formal strategic planning process.
At that time, Evergreen Consulting's Brent Grover wrote in MDM that a strategic plan is a competitive differentiator in today's volatile economy … and a gauge and tool for better decision-making. Knowing where you want the business to go will ensure you make cuts and market moves with confidence that you will have the right resources and skill sets to get you there.
Today's sales climate is for many uncharted territory. More than ever, a strategic plan can serve as a guide as businesses make tough decisions in the short-term that will determine the health of the business in the long-term.