5 July 2011

The New Reality

If the harsh realities of the post-GFC environment have taught us anything, it’s that the cornerstones of traditional management models no longer hold any relevance.

Consider the way in which companies once dealt with adverse financial conditions. In the past, a successful counter-strategy would have involved steps like the implementation of cost-controlling and exposure-limiting measures. However, when the GFC hit and radically altered the market fundamentals, businesses reported that these established models didn’t work. Since then, they’ve continued to struggle with the realisation that they have to think and act differently.

Like it or not, the world has changed. In fact, it’s pretty hard to think of an industry that will be the same 10-years from now. For example, the difficulties currently being experienced by the retail sector probably represent the new normal and not just part of a cycle that’s going to eventually deliver a return to the past. This means that organisations need to radically alter their approach if they hope to survive.

With this in mind, businesses need to innovate and come up with new ways of servicing customer needs. They need to develop sustainable business models that have lower costs and higher values. They need to take what they do now and adjust it to suit market circumstances. This will require managers who are able to identify new potential growth ideas and reward employees for breaking the constraints of previous business models.

The ability to attract and retain in-demand talent will also be vital, as it’s these people that will ultimately deliver business success. Finally, quality leadership will be more critical than ever. Highly successful managers will be those who are able to inspire their people with a vision of the future while also imparting a strong sense of the values and ideals for which an organisation stands.

Follow Nick @NickWailes on Twitter.

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