Controllership — Problems or Opportunities?
by GORDON L. MURRAY Partner, Executive Office
Presented before the Steering Committee of Controllers, The May Department Stores Company, Hartford, Connecticut—March 1969
WE most certainly live in fascinating times—times producing tre-mendous achievements and monumental problems, both of them at ever accelerating rates. This increased velocity of change, both good and bad, is no doubt one of the fundamental factors characterizing our times. Change can be highly disturbing or highly exhilarating, depending on your disposition. Change can be viewed as a problem or as an opportunity,
depending on the particular point of view you elect to adopt. To equate the term "change" with the term "problem" is to miss all the fun, so I elect to speak to the matter of "change" in terms of the "opportunities"
CHANGE BY EVOLUTION OR BY BREAKTHROUGHS?
Many of the changes occurring that affect management—and the controller as a part of, and as a contributor to, management—are described
as great new breakthroughs in management approaches, computer and information technology, and all the rest. From where I have the opportunity to view these developments, such assertions merely serve to confuse rather than clarify—and as a consultant to management I don't get paid for adding to the confusion.
Nowadays we find considerable attention being devoted to so-called "scientific management"—to an interest in applying to the business organism the approaches and techniques found successful in the physical and behavioral sciences. We find computer technicians, operations researchers,
mathematical scientists, information specialists, and all manner of new types emerging on the business scene with educational and experience
backgrounds in many fields unrelated to business or to management. Coincidental with these developments are new and unfamiliar—or even undefined—terminology: Systems Analysis; the Systems Approach; Information
Technology; Management Science; Operations Research; Management Information Systems; and a host of others.