Challenges in the 21st century
Since the crash of the world economy many
companies have been in very difficult competitive situations.
They have faced many problems and challenges such as relentless
pressure on margins, unprecedented drop in demand, diminishing
returns on yesterday’s sure fight strategies and an enormous
pressure to innovate on a shoestring budget. Many organizations
and managers found these challenges insurmountable, leading to
many companies disappearing from economic landscape.
The world continues to change and customers’ needs continue to
change. Some businesses keep on serving up on yesterday’s
ideas.. until it is too late. The smart and successful
organizations actively and aggressively manage the future.
Hence, the real challenge lies in knowing how to make change a
competitive advantage instead of a drawback, how to prosper
instead of merely survive, how to get and keep the mind-set that
turns an organization from a victim into a victor.
The greatest challenge that all organizations face in the 21st
century is the oncoming, overwhelming, accelerating pace of
change. New realities and demands require a change of policies
that have worked well for the last century and even more, a
change in the mindset of the organizations as well as
individuals. The new digital economy and electronic business are
evolving so rapidly that it is difficult for everyone to keep
abreast with the latest technological development and
innovations. However, making a commitment to an operating system
or a hardware family locks the IT department into a set of
constraints spanning performance, costs and skills. These
constraints may bar organizations from embracing the new
technological options as they arise. Organizations will be able
to insulate themselves from the worst effects of technology by
riding with the changes.
Managing the future involves anticipating new and emerging
customer needs and wants and creating new opportunities for
customers in the way of products and services. Organizations and
managers will now need to stay close to customers. Really close.
It is difficult to stay on top in an era of ever-present change,
when closeness to customers is even more challenging. The
managers of tomorrow will be the leaders of change and need to
have a creative mind and an instinctive perception about the
shape of things to come. The winners in the new century will be
those individuals and organizations, no matter what business
they are in, who can not only ‘envision’ a future for their
organizations, but who make that vision a reality.
Managers will need to understand customers better than the
competition. ‘Customer Needs’ is a moving target. As soon as one
figures out the riddle, its time to come at it with fresh eyes.
‘Value-addition’ or creation takes an important new meaning when
managing the future. Hence, organizations need to pay constant
attention to the innovation process. Managers also need to keep
in mind that they cannot be too focused on their own internal
procedures that they fail to grasp the external shift that will
soon clobber them. One cannot afford to be blind to threat.
The organizations now work at an international level. One of the
challenges of Globalization can be labeled as ‘multi-culturalism’.
One of the implication of globalization would be that all
business will have to measure up to the standards set by the
leaders in the respective fields, anywhere in the world. On
account of globalization there is an enhanced complexity in the
business world. It also calls for an increased ‘team-work’ and
the future managers will need team-building skills and also the
ability to work in teams and lead teams.