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The biggest management challenges in 2008

Seven years into the 21st century the world of business and management is certainly going through, if not revolution, at least evolution on a speedy scale.

Traditional business models are getting turned on their heads (Anyone seen Google’s share price lately?), resources and markets are available on a global scale (Medical tourism), and technology continues to be both the manager’s best friend (CRM) and worst enemy (Blackberry = 24×7 availability).

What do you think will be the big challenges for your business in 2008? asks Harvard Business, which is building a crystal ball around responses from readers. Some early comments:

  • The Network as Platform. “The most important trend in networking in 2008, indeed in all of IT, will be the emergence of the “network as the platform” for productivity, profitable growth, resource management and innovation. This trend will play a key role in helping determine success in business as well as in other areas of society (healthcare and education).”

  • Eco Business Opportunities. “As private and public entities respond to the extension of social responsibility, many new service provider opportunities will explode in the finance, e-waste, recylcing, remanufacturing, supply chain industry, and service entities.”

  • New Geopolitics. “Politically, between US election, China’s coming out party (summer Olympics), and Russia’s new (old) president, 2008 would be an interesting year.
  • Economically, the battle for supremacy between central banks, sovereign funds, and the “real” economy could be on the headline in various disguises.
  • Volatile Markets. “The biggest challenges for the managers in the short term is to counter the impact of weakening dollar, rising crude, declining productivity in US and Europe, and outsourcing as competitive strategy.”

  • Dollar Decline. “For European businesses the continued decline of the US dollar against the Euro will remain one of the toughest challenges. It will be the catalyst for many changes related to repositioning within market segments, relocation of manufacturing to no-Euro zones and acceleration of innovation drive.”

  • Social Networking. “Companies must learn to effectively utilize social networking tools both inside and outside the companies to keep up with what the younger workers grew up with — fast and furious communication tools like texting, facebook, My Space, You Tube, etc. that spread the word now. Not in the next quarter, next month, next week or even next day, but NOW.”

  • Soft Skills. “The development and implementation of ‘soft skills’ will be one of the greatest management challenges in the future. With changing attitudes and values it will become increasingly necessary for organisations to undergo cultural change in order to attract and retain high quality young staff and to appeal to the changing values of society in general.

The establishment of a culture of community which values all stakeholders, gives a strong sense of belonging and offers flexibility within a secure and diverse environment will be important.”

Reference: Sean Silverthorne BNET courtesy of entrepreneurship blog
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