In this issue
FORMAL STRATEGIC PLANNING developed in large companies and business schools in the decades following the Second World War. Most models of strategic planning today reflect those beginnings and reinforce the widespread notion that planning is a big, complicated process beyond the scope and resources of smaller and midsized companies.
AS YOUR FATHER I am happy to report that our family had a marvelously successful first quarter this year. Earnings are up, costs are down (despite the new fuel pump on the minivan) and I as you all know by now, we've added a new member, Katherine Anne. At nine pounds two ounces she is, I believe, another example of the kind of quality work that we've come to expect from your mother — the kind that has made us stand out from other families on the block.
WHEN New York investment banker Ronald Baron attempted a hostile takeover of Strawbridge & Clothier in 1986, the Philadelphia department store chain responded with feisty full-page newspaper ads announcing in bold type, "The family is not for sale. More than 12,000 employees. Over 3,000 shareholders. Third, fourth and fifth generation Strawbridge & Clothier descendants. We are a family. And we cannot be bought... Not today. Not tomorrow."
GROWTH IS THE TALK of executive circles these days. Company leaders arc finding that cost-cutting and downsizing are not enough to improve a company's long-term financial picture; you can only save so much. Beyond that, improving the bottom line depends on raising revenues.