Today Sri Lanka is in a rapid development process in many sectors like in infrastructure, banking, education, health, sports, tourism, etc. However, in order to reach desired development goals, we need good and visionary leaders and also quality managers to guide and manage limited resources in a much effective and fruitful manner.
They should also be able to visualise present and future challenges upfront in order to combat those problems quite successfully.
However, presently, Sri Lanka is lacking quality leaders with sound managerial skills and hence needs leaders who can manage limited resources in a much more fruitful manner with novel leadership skills and especially with creativity in managing things. Hence, our nation requires quality and strong leaders with creative and innovative leadership to manage not only today’s challenges but the unpredictable future challenges as well.
Challenges ahead for leaders/managers
Leaders/managers always have to deal with various problems in their day-to-day business activities. However, the problems that they face today are quite different from what they were facing yesteryear, and hence it is quite sure that the future issues too will be much different from the present problems.
Some of such challenging issues or problems are,
- Handling workplace diversity
- Retention of employees
- Managing careers
- Globalisation and technological enhancement
- Managing crisis
Handling workplace diversity
Due to the internationalisation/globalisation, managing diversity in the work place has become a serious concern for many managers and to the organisations irrespective of their businesses, and the size of their business around the globe.
Earlier this issue was basically visible in Multinational Companies (MNCs), however, nowadays we can observe that even smaller companies have highly diversified workforce working for achieving a desired common goal.
Yet, there are number of challenges to be conquered in order to establish a multicultural organisation in place. Adopting proper and innovative motivational methods and suitable training methods such as language training, etc., will facilitate organisations to create a successful multicultural organisation and also will assist companies to manage diversity successfully.
Human resource managers of MNCs are particularly required to be very mindful and may employ a ‘think global, act local’ approach in most circumstances. HSBC is probably the best illustration for this statement.
Retention of employees
This is another key area that managers have to look into cautiously. Management of any organisation should be willing to take an appropriate action in order to develop an organisational culture that nurtures the values and the competences of its employees if the organisation wishes to retain its best talented employees, especially in the long run. If not, organisations may have to face the following adverse consequences due to the organisation’s high employee turnover:
- Interruption of its customer service
- The cost of turnover
- Turnover leads to more turnover
- Loss/damage of image/goodwill of the company
- Difficulty in regaining efficiency
- Loss of company knowledge, etc.
This is another key challenge that managers of any organisation should follow cautiously. As we are aware, career management is done in three stages. Career planning is the deliberated process through which someone becomes aware of personal skills, interests, knowledge, motivations and other characteristics and establishes an action plan to attain specific goals.
Career development is a lifelong series of activities that contribute to a person’s career exploration, establishment, and success fulfilment. Career management is the process for enabling employees to better understand and develop their career skills and interests and to use these skills and interests more effectively. Hence, managers should pay more attention on this for the ultimate benefit of the organisation.
Globalisation and technological enhancement
As discussed earlier, globalisation has resulted present day managers to think and act differently. Similarly, it creates an environment that managers have to think and act promptly to find best solutions for various issues, because the situation requires or demands managers to do so.
Today technology has been identified as one of principal drivers of the current globalisation. Improvements in Information Technology (IT), in particular, have dramatically transformed economies around the world, irrespective of the prosperity of the concerned country.
Hence, leaders and managers have to adapt to such changes first and fast in order to survive in their respective business. Consequently, they should rally their followers or the employees to march towards accumulating new and innovative skills in latest technology to run the organisations successfully.
This has been identified as a quite interesting phenomenon in today’s management. There are various kinds of crisis that could occur in our life and it will certainly have an impact on our organisations as well. According to Wikipedia, crisis management is the process by which an organisation deals with a major event that threatens to harm the organisation, its stakeholders or the general public.
Hence, managers have to be quite vigilant and have to be prepared with necessary strategies to confront such crisis in organisational level with realistic crisis management plans. Lerbinger categorised seven types of crises as follows,
1. Natural disasters
2. Technological crises
5.Crisis of skewed management value
6.Crisis of deception
7.Crisis of management misconduct
As discussed earlier, it is quite clear that leaders/managers must be quite vigilant on current issues happening around them and should be knowledgeable of emerging trends in their respective business areas in order to bring the maximum results for their respective entities.
Therefore, leaders/managers of Sri Lanka should be ready to encourage our younger generation to learn from their experiences and be willing to educate the younger generation on current and upcoming issues in order to face such challenges (both locally and internationally) quite effectively.
(The writer – M.B.A (International), AIMM, MIM (SL), MCPM – can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.)