The Manager of Tomorrow

The demands on the skill, knowledge, performance, responsibility and integrity of the manager have doubled in every generation during the past half century. Things which in the twenties only a few pioneers in top management were aware of we expect young men straight out of school to be able to do. Daring innovations of yesterday market research, product planning, human relations, or trend analysis, for instance have become commonplace. Operations Research is fast becoming so. Can we expect this almost explosive increase in the demands on the manager to continue? And what can we expect to be demanded of the manager of tomorrow?

The new pressures, the new demands on the manager are increasing. The new technology will demand the understanding of the principles of production and their consistent application by all managers, It will require that the entire business be seen, understood and managed as an integrated process. Even if distribution of the product is carried on in physical from production and by legally distinct and independent distributor, it will have to be considered an integral part of the process. And the same applies to raw materials procurement or to customer service.

This process requires a maximum of stability and of ability to anticipate future events. Hence it must be based on careful objectives and on long range decisions in all key areas. But it also requires great internal flexibility and self guidance. Hence managers on all levels must be able to make decisions which adapt the whole process to new circumstances, changes in the environment and disturbances and yet maintain it as a going process.

In particular the new technology demands that management create markets. Management can no longer be satisfied with the market as it exists, it can no longer see in selling attempt to find a purchaser for whatever it is that the business produces. It must create customers and markets by conscious and systematic work. Above all, it must focus continuously on creating mass purchasing power and mass purchasing habits.

Marketing itself is affected by the basic concepts of the new technology. Automation as if it were exclusively a principle of production. It is, however, a principle of work in general. Indeed the new methods of mass marketing may require greater application of the principles of Automation than the Automatic factory, even though not one single automatic machine or electronic relay may be used. Marketing itself is becoming an increasingly integrated process. And increasingly it requires close integrated with all other phases of the business. Instead of putting the emphasis on selling the individual customer, marketing centers more and more in product and market planning, product design and styling product development and customer service. Instead of the individual sale, the creation of mass demand will be the pay off. Television advertising is as much Automation, in other words, as is a mechanized machine feed. And the technological changes in distribution and marketing have as much impact as the technological changes in production.

This will demand that tomorrow’s managers, regardless of their level and function, understand the marketing objectives and policies of their company and know what they have to contribute to them. Business management will have to be able to think through long range market objectives and to plan and build a long range marketing organizations.

The new technology will make new demands for innovations. Not only must the chemist, designer or engineer work loosely with production and marketing men, but there will have to be the kind of systematic approach to innovation that Sears Roebuck, for instance applies to its merchandise planning and its development of suppliers. Innovation will have to be managed by objectives that elect long term market goals. It will also have to attempt much more systematically to foresee the inherent possibilities of technological and scientific development and to shape manufacturing and marketing policies accordingly.

The new technology will result in greater competition. True, it will broaden the market and rise the level of production and consumption but these new opportunities will also demand consistent efforts to do better on the part of the enterprise and its managers.

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