[FOUNTAIN]Clear vision vital to open Sinuiju

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[FOUNTAIN]Clear vision vital to open Sinuiju

It's simple to understand why Peter Drucker, the author of countless books about business management, has attracted our attention for so many years. He has shared a great wealth of knowledge about business: the past and present, theory and practice, macro and micro.

The central theme of his books, including "The Practice of Management," "Management Challenges for the 21st Century" and "Managing in the Next Society," is innovation.

He discussed his theories about the origin of innovation in the August issue of the Harvard Business Review. He wrote that innovation can begin with a striking idea, but successful innovation results from a conscious aim with a clear sense of purpose.

Fortune, the business magazine, supports this point. The 11 people it lists as America's most successful entrepreneurs -- including Michael Dell, chief executive officer of Dell Computer, and Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express -- have a relentless drive, are inquisitive and courageous. They are not satisfied with their success, and have the spirit to begin something new. This is innovation.

If Bill Gates is the king of the software industry, then Mr. Dell is the prince of the hardware industry. Mr. Dell, just 37 years old, is considered to be the only entrepreneur in the information technology business whose company was unscathed by the most recent recession. He is currently devising a new business, completely unrelated to the personal computer industry.

This extraordinary ability to seize opportunities is also shared by the executives named in another Fortune article, the "40 Richest Under 40 (excluding U.S.)."

Surprisingly, eight of the 40 on the list were born in the socialist country of China. Each is a multimillionaire chief executive officer in his 30s. Yang Bin, president of Euro-Asia Agricultural Holdings Co., is among those named.

Many observers will be paying attention to this 39-year-old Chinese-Dutch entrepreneur, who has been accused of tax evasion and real estate speculation, to see how he will "rule" Sinuiju and through what managerial means.

Mr. Drucker's theory of innovation states that an effective idea must have a simple and clear objective. In his view, the best compliment would be, "That is so obvious. Why didn't I think of that?"

I am curious how clearly North Korea's objectives for economic reform will be expressed by Yang Bin, who will oversee the Sinuiju project which is expected to open up the Kim Jong-il era.

The writer is a JoongAng Ilbo editorial writer.

by Choi Chul-joo

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