Companies & Industries

Management Challenges for 2008


HarvardBusiness.org's editors asked readers what the biggest management challenges would be for the next year. Read selected responses

Posted by HarvardBusiness.org Editors on December 26, 2007 12:14 PM

In the middle of December, we asked you to respond to this question:

"What do you think will be the biggest management challenges in 2008 for you, your company, or the world at large?"

And did you ever respond. Your thoughtful comments touched on a broad range of topics from the very personal to the macro-economic. You can read the full discussion here.

From your comments, we noticed a few distinct themes emerging. Among the most prominent challenges were managing economic uncertainty, climate change and sustainability, and engaging and retaining employees. We've included some highlights from your comments, as well as a poll on these topics, below.

Managing Economic Uncertainty

Here's what you said:

"The forces unleashed by the subprime crisis will continue to have ripple effects all through 2008." — Narayan

"Interest rates will continue to be an issue and as a result consumer confidence weak. Layoffs are inevitable." — Robert Smith

"I believe the most significant challenge for managers in 2008 is to inspire and instill a sense of confidence in the midst of increased uncertainties." — Satyo Fatwan

Climate Change and Sustainability

Here's what you said:

"Global warming will become a true global challenge to all business concerns as well as individuals." — Dr. K.S. Srinivasa Rao

"Managing sustainability in a world of declining natural resources will be a critical task for organisations and managers." — Aparna Rao

"With all discussions centering around Green and Climate Change, it still remains with managers to get their heads around the subject and to come up with the right approach to create financially attractive growth opportunities." — Boris Santosi

Engaging and Retaining Employees

Here's what you said:

"With changing attitudes and values, it becomes increasingly necessary for organisations to undergo culture change in order to attract and retain high quality young staff." — Mark Greenshields

"The biggest challenge for managers in 2008 will be giving employees 'permission to play', making work more meaningful and keep it real." — Kathryn Aiken

"Assuming 'management' is a people-oriented activity, I would presume the biggest challenge will be to openly deal with the wants of employees while still making a profit." — David Malouf

Do agree that these three issues will play a big part in the lives of managers in 2008? What else is on your mind as we end one year and enter the next?

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