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Vail Valley Business Forum panel will help you focus on today’s problems

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

Planning for your business these days can be like swimming in milk and trying to read an eye chart at the far end of the pool. I fondly remember the days where a five-year strategic plan could actually be created and pretty much used to guide daily business. Back then the mantra was “plan the work and work the plan.”

Then, somewhere during the last big bust in the early to mid-1980s here in Colorado, a three-year plan became the order of the day. Even then, if you could actually create an intelligent document and get the plan to work for 18 months you were doing well.

Then we were dragged screaming and kicking into the 1990s with all our trusted gurus who had yelled “strategy, strategy, strategy” for decades suddenly pounding “tactics, tactics, tactics” into our heads. Wow. It was dizzy and dumb, but it made more sense than pretending you could actually interpret market, finance and competitive activity that far out.

The difficulty in switching to completely tactical or “action-based” plan is twofold: First if you go tactical there’s a natural tendency to overreact to the now and wobble, kind of like a dog chasing its tail while it tries to catch a Frisbee in flight.

Second, the ability to make a good tactical plan hinges on an acute understanding of the now. Not just observing it and making fast decisions, but really knowing what now is, how long it will remain unchanged and what the implications of now mean for your profitability, growth, differentiation and long-term goals. How’s that for a challenge?

Well, the Vail Valley Partnership is going to give you some help. On Thursday, July 30, at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, we’ll present our third annual Vail Valley Business Forum. We’ve gathered a panel of outstanding executives who know what you’re facing – that yes, the future is invisible and that despite those formidable issues, you still have to do business today.

In his keynote address, Rob Katz, CEO and chairman of the board of Vail Resorts, will set the tone for the meeting themed, “Enough Guesswork. Here’s the Plan.”

Other Forum panelists include Richard Kauffman, executive vice president, western region, Marriott International, Inc., John Ikard, CEO, First Bank Holding Company and Jerry Grilly, CEO of the Denver Newspaper Agency.

These experts in resort management and development, economic development and international trade, hospitality, finance and banking and mass media are all dealing with these issues daily and will be sharing their approaches to the current business environment and how a focus on what’s happening today will get us prepared to deal with what comes in the future.

The Business Forum begins with attendee registration, a continental breakfast and business exhibition from 8 to 8:45 a.m., followed by the keynote address and the panel discussion and question-and-answer period from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Networking time and more of the business exhibition follow from 10:45-11:30 a.m.

If you’re looking for smart, timely, useful information that can help your enterprise make it to, and then into, the economic recovery forecast for 2010 (cross your fingers), you need to attend this event.

Ticket prices are $40 for Vail Valley Partnership members, $50 for members of other intermountain chambers and $80 for non-members and tickets purchased at the door the day. For tickets contact events coordinator Ruth Carlson, 970-477-4001 or rcarlson@visitvailvalley.com. Don’t miss this opportunity to take away a brilliant idea or two.


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