Has the economy stabilized? Will the rebound in the S&P 500 last? Is the worst of the job-market bloodletting over? When is the right time to get back into real estate?
The answers are so elusive because if the past couple of years have taught us anything, it is that, as screenwriter William Goldman famously wrote of Hollywood, "Nobody knows anything."
Well, maybe that's an overstatement. Even the most grim-faced pessimist would concede that at some point America's economic torpor will abate, commerce will hum, GDP growth will pick up, and a wary populace will once again start buying and investing. Of course, there are those who believe we are in for a long stretch of difficult days before any national turnaround takes place. But there are also those who think when the recovery happens, it could be remarkably robust.
Whatever the time frame, the rebound will belong to companies that have negotiated The Great Recession with prudence and positioned themselves to emerge energized and focused.
In this issue, BusinessWeek will inaugurate a series of stories entitled Managing Forward: The Reset Economy. We will examine what various industries—and specific companies within those industries—are doing to rethink their futures. We will especially be on the lookout for strategic planning and smart practices applicable to other businesses. And we will ask well-respected thinkers to reimagine industrial sectors hit hardest. In addition, a rich trove of related content will be available on businessweek.com.
But Managing Forward won't only offer insights for businesses navigating the treacherous shoals of recession. It is our expectation that this feature will become an important component in the toolkit of every reader as we move from resetting to recovery and beyond. I welcome any suggestion that will make Managing Forward more relevant and valuable.