Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Five critical business issues for the new year

Ninth House, a leadership development company, writes, "Driven by increased global competition, an unrelenting push towards even greater productivity, and the impact of outsourcing, mastering and integrating the following five management skills may mark the difference in 2005 between the leaders and the losers."

(The contributors to the list are Ninth House faculty members.)

1. Creating a Compelling Organizational Vision. "The organizational leaders of 2005 will be those individuals who are able to create a compelling vision that tells everyone who you are (purpose), where you are going (picture of the future) and what will drive your behavior (values). If your people don't know what you stand for, they will fall for anything. Once your vision is set, then the goals or strategies you establish will have a bigger picture context."

Ken Blanchard, chairman of The Ken Blanchard Companies
Author of The One Minute Manager

2. Understanding and Coping with a Constantly Changing Economic Environment. "The pace of change is greater than ever, and there are signs that our individual ability to assimilate it is reaching the limit. Today's leaders are faced with the daunting task of sustaining productivity under conditions that will certainly undermine it. Without them, productivity will suffer, and our hair-trigger economy won't stand that."

William Bridges, president, William Bridges & Associates
Author of Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes and Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change

3. Developing and Mentoring Employees. "Over 100 years ago, Henry Ford said, 'Why when I only want to hire a pair of hands, do I get a whole person?' In today's complex world that is moving more and more into a knowledge economy, the challenge for leadership is to 'use the whole person.' Leaders can no longer have the answers. Instead, their task is to release and focus the potential of everybody within their organization. Only when that is done will excellence be achieved."

Dr. David Bradford, senior lecturer in organizational behavior at Stanford University Graduate School of Business
Co-Author of Managing for Excellence: The Guide to High Performance in Contemporary Organizations, Influence Without Authority

4. Building a Workplace Community. "The growth and uncertainty experienced in 2004 caused some leaders to return to basics-building workplace communities of respect, affirmation and inclusion. It worked. Employees and the marketplace responded positively. If this trend becomes a strategic priority for leaders, we predict 'workplace 2005' to be one of risk-taking, shared knowledge, increased productivity and a reduction in the impact of change."

Clifton L. Taulbert, president, The Building Community Institute
Pulitzer-nominated author: Eight Habits of the Heart

5. Negotiating and Managing Critical Relationships. "The ability to negotiate and manage relationships with strategic partners is essential. Productivity within companies who partner could be three times higher than the normal productivity per employee. Look for growth in partnering, which spreads capital risk and shortens time-to-market."

Larraine Segil, partner, Vantage Partners
Author of Measuring the Value of Partnering and Intelligent Business Alliances

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