McKinsey quarterly just reported (requires subscription) on a survey which they conducted with executives from around the world. In it they asked those executives to identify the top three trends that would affect global business and how those trends would impact their company’s profitability.
The top three trends to affect global business over the next five years are:
- the growing number of consumers in emerging economies
- the shift of economic activity between and within regions
- the greater ease of obtaining information and developing knowledge
Other noteworthy trends from the top 10 include: the increasing communication/interaction in business and social realms as a result of technological innovation (#6), shifting structures/emerging forms of corporate organization (#7), and more social backlash against business (#9).
Interestingly enough, the survey found that executives perceived the potential impact of those trends to be significantly larger on global business than on their own company’s profitability – perhaps signaling a weakness in their ability to translate global trends into corporate strategy.
Another finding – perhaps predictable considering who was surveyed – is that 85% of the executives describe their business environment as more competitive than it was 5 years ago.
When asked what single factor contributes most to the accelerating pace of change in the global business environment today they identified the main reason as innovation in products, services and business models. Other interesting reasons were greater ease of obtaining information, developing knowledge (#2), and rising consumer awareness and activism (#8).