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The saying, "Change is hard," might be a cliché, but, nonetheless, it's very true. The market has taken a battering that has left most of us wondering where it all went wrong. Though the official recession began in December 2007, the rumblings of economic trouble went unnoticed by the average household until the presidential election race began to heat up. Unfortunately for us, the trouble was only beginning. The lessons of our grandparents from the Great Depression had long been forgotten, as most of America began to live on credit and far above their means. Perhaps that is why the recession has been so painful, not only for transactional document producers but for financial institutions, consumers and the government, creating a weak and panicked market.

But with all things, even the recession couldn't remain constant. Finally, after many months of promised and predicted recovery, the market seems to be listening to the litany of promises. In fact, the Federal Reserve released its newest study on July 29 reporting the Fed's 12 regions indicated either that the recession was easing or that economic activity had "begun to stabilize, albeit at a low level." According to the survey, four Fed regions showed "signs of stabilization," while two regions indicated the economic downturn to be "moderating."

While good news seems to be on the horizon, the lessons of the worst recession since World War II have perhaps changed forever the way we conduct business. The mere makeup of the transactional document industry reflects the changes we all must continue to make. If nothing else was gained from the financial meltdown, the one truth to remember is that an overly aggressive, risk-ridden approach is one that could cost your business more than you can know. A company that doesn't constantly examine itself is one that could be camouflaging its internal weaknesses.

In this issue, we address the importance of change management, but our market demands more from us than the confines of this business term. Efficiency, education and evaluation should always be principles the enterprise truly delivers on. Through DOCUMENT's multi-channel offerings, this ideology can revolutionize what the industry standard would term as business success. Our annual event, DOCUMENT Strategy Forum, October 5-7, held in Chicago (www.DOCUMENTstrategyForum.com), our daily updated website, monthly e-newsletter and our print magazine all strive to partner with you to give you the tools to change the documents we send and the way we do business.