Editor’s Letter

Conflicting economic messages and signals currently abound. Choosing the right management strategies for the year ahead is, therefore, tricky. Recently back from lengthy stint in the United States, it seemed appropriate to assign Mark Story to the task of matching up management thinking here with what he witnessed in the US just prior to his return. Our strategists are, perhaps not surprisingly, relatively bullish about 2002. They appear to be priming their enterprises to take advantage of the relatively strong local economy and the anticipated global economic upturn most pundits predict will be US-led in the second half of the year.
Translating economic forecasts into appropriate management strategies is what real leadership is about. Is it, for instance, better to be under or over-prepared for any upturn? Should managers continue to hunker-down and cut costs or should they be aggressively capitalising on the opportunities prevailing economic conditions provide. Is this the time to seek out new talent or should leaders be concerned with looking after what talent they have got? Should organisations be spending more on training and personnel development or on new technologies? And will the large number of overseas-owned companies populating the commercial landscape react differently to conditions than our home grown enterprises? Story has tapped into some prevailing thinking to provide you with summary of the best strategy options available.
And still thinking strategically, Richard Pinhorn suggests that proactive approach to procurement during economically doubtful times is good way to enhance the bottom line. Buying smart can help managers capitalise on any recessionary thinking and that has to be good strategic advice. Our book review this month also has strategic bias. Strategic planner, consultant, speaker and now author, Graham Kenny says too many managers look inward rather than outward when writing their strategic plans and that’s “fatal flaw” for an enterprise seeking to establish competitive advantage. We want leaders and managers to think strategically in 2002 because it is important to their success and, in some cases even to their survival.
Management magazine has been thinking strategically about the year ahead too. We have introduced couple of minor but important changes in this issue. An Opinion Leaders column up front makes its debut. We will regularly invite influential leaders to offer their thoughts on leadership issues. We have also turned our long running ‘Net work commentary into more practical Tech nous column for managers. There’s more to come. Welcome back for 2002.

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