Now that there are signs we’re starting to come out of the recession, business leaders might do well to review the keen, albeit acerbic, insight of one Sam Bowers.  The consultant from North Carolina has a proven record of success in the real world – having played a key role in the growth of an Atlanta personnel company from $12million when he was brought aboard to over $400 million when he left, as well as providing advice and counsel to  his clients.  At the core of a very strongly held belief is his contention that CEOs who think that what worked well for them in the past will work again, are badly mistaken and likely heading for financial disaster.

It was Bowers, in his presentation in May 2009, who said that the old axiom, “Faster, better, cheaper – your choice, any two,” no longer applies. That, in fact, being able to provide your company’s product/service, better, faster and cheaper is now the price of admission in order to even be considered. “It is,” he said, “the new definition of Capitalism.”

Sam asks a key question: “What are you providing now that your customer does not value?” According to Bowers, “The concept of Value Added bankrupts more companies than any other.” Then, one other pithy quote to reiterate his point: “When you’re better than good enough, your price is too high.”

Bowers and subtlety, you have undoubtedly noted, are strangers. One of his comments is already on the web site, “Looking for a place where price is not a factor today,” he said, “is going to be a long, lonely search in a dark jungle.”

Noting the chaotic economy already prevailing when he spoke, Bowers said, “The recession will end when consumers can no longer delay the purchase of durable goods.”  It made sense when Sam said it and it looks like we’re nearing that point now, 22 months later.

And not a day too soon.