Management Challenges for the 21st Century by Peter Drucker (1999)

Borrowed this book from Perpustakaan Awam Negeri Terengganu (Terengganu State Public Library). It is almost a decade since this book was first published - so it is a great time to read the challenges predicted in this book and compare against the scenario now. This book is a book for thinkers and at times you would find your mind straying along with the flow of the writing. The foreword to this book also includes a warning that it is not able to provide the answers to the challenges.

  1. Management's New Paradigm : There is NO ONE WAY of doing things because the modern organisation keeps on changing and at a faster rate.
  2. Strategy - The New Certainties : Challenge #1 There is NO CERTAINTY except change because of changes in the general demographics, income distribution, industry, globalisation and politics. The USA baby boomer generation who will start entering pension age in 2010 is expected to play a big impact.
  3. The Change Leader : Challenge #2 : Keeping AHEAD OF CHANGES will be key to a leader. This requires new type of policies and organisational structure.
  4. The Information Challenges : Challenge #3 : Providing INFORMATION through technology. This will mark a change from form and functions to actionable cause-and-effect information and intelligence. The 1998 Asian financial crisis was used to illustrate the impact. Personally, I think this will be a high importance trend during this economic crisis where IT managers will be asked to justify the impact on organisational targets.
  5. Knowledge Worker Productivity : Challenge #4 : Managing PRODUCTIVITY as organisations change between manual workers to knowledge workers. I like one of the six factors which is "that knowledge workers want to work for the organisation in preference to all other opportunities".
  6. Managing Oneself : Challenge #5 : Realising INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION to the overall organisation in terms of strengths, performance, belonging, contribution, relationship and responsibility. For me this is new stuff and I like the examples given about listeners and readers and I think a whole new field will be generated from this. Before this, the majority have always been about managing other people or being managed by other people.
Personally, these are also my challenges of managing people to change how they work and in the process achieving individual and organisational targets.

And about managing myself (one of the reasons why I went back to university). The following book was published in 2008 which shows the growing interest in this field. Will try to find a copy in the library.