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Mastering complexity in management


Do you feel that your work as a manager is getting more and more complicated? You are almost certainly right.

In an increasingly complex world society, the advancing complexity of business management is inevitable. It’s been visible for at least four decades, and no doubt will continue indefinitely. You can follow one cause (and effect) in the changing preoccupations of the largest companies. In the mid-Sixties their concerns were primarily internal – but the outside world was about to assert itself.

Before that sea-change, the world’s major markets were astonishingly stable. The giant companies set the tone and managed the economy. They were by and large production-led, paying lip-service to marketing orientation, but actually churning out goods and services as they (and not the customers) saw fit. Their output featured fairly continuous improvements, but no great attention to cost. Markets were served on a take-it-or-leave it basis; but mostly customers had to take it, for lack of any alternative to the big brands.

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