Managing the Future
Surviving in the 21st Century
Olympics management legend Peter Ueberroth cites competitiveness,
integrity and hiring wisdom as qualities successful jewelers
It will take more than good products and a well-established
name to thrive in the next century, according to management speaker
Peter Ueberroth, the former Olympics chief who now operates a
company called Contrarian Corp. He told the opening-day crowd
during his keynote speech at the third International Gemological
Symposium in San Diego that companies will need to take these
- Compete, don't just manage. Companies that are merely managed
and run according to the status quo will not survive in the ultra-competitive
world of tomorrow, said Ueberroth. Owners and managers have to
compete intensely, reinventing themselves at every turn to keep
from looking just like the guy down the road. It's no longer
enough, even for successful companies, to rest on their laurels.
There's always a new competitor improving on what you're doing.
- Keep promises. Consumers and your employees won't put up
with promises that aren't delivered. Integrity will be even more
important in the next millennium, he said.
- Put two at the top. Make sure two people run your company.
Though your titles may vary, you should both be empowered to
make the important decisions. Business is too complicated today
for a single person to know it all. Besides, a kite can't fly
without a string, he said partners in a business often
have complementary skills.
- All employees must have a stake in the company. You can't
ask members of your team to compete at the highest levels if
they're not in the game. If you can't award stock, think of other
forms of compensation or perks that keep top-notch employees
happy and motivated.
- Watch for age and education discrimination. Ueberroth said
the two most common forms of prejudice in business are against
employees over 65 and people with less than college-level educations.
He cited several examples of older workers and ones without college
educations who became stars when given the chance. He urged jewelers
to keep an open mind and see potential in retirees who want to
work or mothers returning to the work force with high school
- Demand superior service from consultants. Almost all businesses
now use consultants, from traditional legal and accounting help
to technology and business information. Don't keep consultants
who aren't as committed to your team and goals as you are. Demand
excellence from them too.
- Get involved in your local community and government. Jewelers
should encourage good citizenship among employees as a way to
achieve success. Learning what new laws and regulations may affect
your business and preparing tomorrow's workers and consumers
to be effective adults are key to a positive future, he said.
by Peggy Jo Donahue
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.