MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS Giles R. Meikle
Partner, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells Vancouver Office
Presented before the Canadian Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, Jasper, Alberta-May 1974
Volumes have been written and countless words spoken on the subjects of business management and cost analysis. Every businessman's needs are different, and therefore, of necessity, most speakers and writers make their points in general terms rather than in specifics. I have tried to get a feel for your business, its problems and potential and relate them to experiences encountered over the past few years in dealings with clients. My objective is to bring to you an awareness of the advantages of knowing where you want to go and how you are going to get there, together with an exposure to the tools that will assist you in determining whether you are keeping on the right track and attaining goals at various points along the way.
Before getting into the specifics of planning and analyzing, let us consider for a moment the environment in which we all find ourselves and try to relate that to the environment in which your businesses exist and into which they are headed.
The growth industries in the next thirty years are likely to emerge from the knowledge technologies of the last half century. The continuity of technology and industrial development of the past fifty years is likely to be replaced by a series of major new industrial developments akin to those that occurred every few years in the closing decades of the last century. We are on the threshold of a knowledge society. Knowledge is beginning to replace capital as the major and scarcest resource in our economy. It is the key factor in the country's international economic strength, and it has become increasingly pervasive as shown by the information industry. Since knowledge skills are also varying skills, people that have them also have sufficient flexibility to learn and relearn new skills as required.
In his recent book The Age of Discontinuity, Peter Drucker states that
every single technology, and with it, every industry, before 1850, was based on experience. Knowledge, that is systematic, purposeful, organized information, had