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The challenge for Canadian managers today and tomorrow.

The Challenge for Canadian Managers Today and Tomorrow

Canada will need a radically different brand of business people by the year 2000, according to John Godfrey, editor of the Financial Post.

Every day it seems the media is bombarding us with threats of change to our way of doing business. One has only to scan the daily newspaper to realize how rapidly business is changing through the many new techniques that are continuing to be invented. What was the "in" thing yesterday is out of date today. Added to this we have the rapid changes taking place in Europe where the people are hungry to learn the modern methods of a capitalistic society.

Typical of new management thinking is the startling concept of Michael Skapinker in the Financial Times of London that managing in the '90's will be like starting all over again.

To follow on this theme, Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School says "In the new corporation, managers must learn to operate without the crutch of hierarchy. Position, title and authority are no longer adequate tools in a world where subordinates are encouraged to think for themselves and managers have to work with other departments and other companies".

Similarly, Andrew Cohen, Foreign Editor of The Financial Post writes about the "new internationalism, the broad recognition that national sovereignty in winning, and making money is better than war. And what of Canada?" he asks. "The world's new interest in peacekeeping, foreign aid and free trade speak to our strengths. As an international player, Canada is unusual, if not unique. Few nations boast its membership in so many organizations, its participation in peacekeeping, its generosity in aid, its commitment to open trade".

Another example of the newly developing thinking was expressed by John Fraser, president of Federal Industries, speaking in Toronto: "The way Canadian business responds to the increasingly global markets will determine the future growth and prosperity of Canada. The third world war has begun, and the troops are not carrying bazookas, they're carrying briefcases! This war will be fought and won based on business strategy, hard work, and ability to compete. Its heroes will be strategic business leaders."

All of these ideas are structured to make us pause for thought, but the latest one to make us stop and think deeply was a statement by Tom Lloyd and Karl Erik Sveiby in their book Managing Knowhow that "The new organizations recruit people who are creative, irreverent and able to come up with new and unconventional answers. In short, they recruit people to break the rules."

How is that for a challenge?

William Innes, C.I.M. P.Mgr. International Chairman
COPYRIGHT 1990 Canadian Institute of Management
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Innes, William
Publication:Canadian Manager
Date:Jun 22, 1990
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