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Bernard Ramanantsoa - Dean
Organizations now deal routinely with customers, suppliers and stakeholders from all over the world. Therefore a manager willing to play on a global scale has first to master today's global-business environment as well as the rules for behavior in other cultures.
1.The (business) world is changing rapidly. Does globalization mean, too, that we need a new kind of "global" manager?

Organizations now deal routinely with customers, suppliers and stakeholders from all over the world. Therefore a manager willing to play on a global scale has first to master today's global-business environment as well as the rules for behavior in other cultures. But more important in my opinion is the need for any modern manager to be able to implement and develop an action plan for "going global". I mean globalization of business is not only a change in the corporate environment itself but is also a true strategic ambition for each company to extend their market shares.

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2.If so, what does he look like ? Is the manager of the future a sort of global nomad, working with his laptop in hotel rooms and airport lounges, living some years at one place on the earth, some years at another ?

Clearly not. This concept of a "global nomad" may be applied to some consultants but it is not the case of managers even in a multinational company, the best companies as we know have mostly managers who may act locally and efficiently. Of course this means a need for coordination and some "coordination managers" may fly from one country to another but they are not the majority of the staff.

3. What are the qualifications of the Manager of Tomorrow? His talents, language skills etc.?

The abilities and qualifications necessary to succeed in international assignments for a Global Manager are indeed numerous, I would refer to 5 main requirements :

The Ability to Develop and Use Global Strategic Skills, I mean by that knowledge of foreign affairs, international relationships, global financial markets, customization of products, global sourcing, global economies of scale, and balancing the counter-forces of globalization and national responsiveness.

The Ability to Manage Cultural Diversity, this includes cultural awareness and self-awareness. The ability to communicate across cultures is an obvious requirement.

The Ability to Manage Change and Transition because of changing competitive conditions and technological change, managers need to know how to achieve appropriate levels of centralized decision-making, coordination and cooperation to fit the situation as it arises.

The Ability to Work in Multicultural Teams and to use committees, task forces etc... as integrating mechanisms. Business planning has to be flexible, employees must be committed to world-wide goals, and collaboration is necessary in order to achieve those goals.

Ability to Learn and Transfer Knowledge. I believe any international managers must be deeply curious. Broad interests, openness to a variety of experiences, and a willingness to experiment are typical.

4. Will we have a very tiny elite of truly "global" top managers and a more "national" middle management? In other words: Do we tend towards a two-class manager system?

As I said previously the truly global men or women are essentially consultants and some people in the banking business. We are all fascinated by these firms but I will not say that they are run globally while other companies (the majority) are run by national middle managers.

5. As a business school, how do you see your role in shaping the world of tomorrow?

As a higher educational organization, HEC School of Management build and shape talents for the future. Our major concerned are :

To be a prominent actor in the production and dissemination of advanced knowledge in management science.
and
To serve the European economy and the international business community by providing them with the talents they need and allowing them to benefit from the rigor and high analytical skills.

6. If you wish to add something relevant to this subject, please feel free to do so.

For the companies as for the business schools we must never forget that globalization does not mean standardization. The key factor of success is very often the ability to manage diversity.
Dieser Artikel ist erschienen am 23.02.2001