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Now, Spyros Makridakis, the pioneer whose name is synonymous with forecasting, addresses these complex questions. Drawing on twenty-five years of research, teaching, and corporate consulting, Makridakis contends that a thorough knowledge of the principles of forecasting and decision making, coupled with a basic understanding of how and why past mistakes were made, has a pronounced and positive impact on future-oriented decisions, notably planning and strategy. Moving beyond his earlier work, and building on his unique knowledge of the methods of forecasting and their real-life applications in companies throughout the world, Makridakis presents a brilliant, non-technical reassessment of forecasting, planning, and strategy that will be welcomed by every manager who has ever struggled with a budget or along-range plan.
After presenting the myths and realities of forecasting and explaining what can and cannot be successfully planned for, Makridakis offers a complete analysis of the factors that influence short, medium, and long-term planning. He does so by comparing and contrasting economic long-term cycles to shorter-term trends and emphasizing the necessity of distinguishing temporary cyclical movements from those indicating changes in trends. He also presents various analytical planning models and discusses their use and limitations in real-life situations.
Finally, Makridakis probes the relationship of competitive and non-competitive strategies to forecasting and discusses the factors that during the past contributed to achieving success or avoiding failure. He explores, by examining past patterns in human history, the type of businesses and managers most likely to emerge in the coming century and shows how managers can employ creativity as their major strategic tool.
Practical and straightforward, this book is must reading for the managers of today who want to better understand forthcoming changes and their implications, and who wish to successfully lead their companies into the world of tomorrow.
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