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Disruptive trends shaping the business landscape Singapore - 21 Aug 2019

  1. Disruptive Trends Shaping the Business Landscape Insights From Multiple Expert Discussions Around The World 21 August 2019
  2. Context This is a selection of insights on the future business landscape gained from multiple expert discussions around the world. They are designed to stimulate debate on what will have greatest impact and why.
  4. Inspiration – Looking for new innovation opportunities
  5. Prediction – An ideal ambition that is (nearly) impossible
  6. Roadmaps – Making things simple - we hope
  7. Alternate Paths – The unexpected routes to the future
  8. Obscurity – Difficult to see further than the immediate short term
  9. Foresight vs. Insight – Differentiating between the predictable and the uncertain
  10. A VUCA World – Adopted from US Military and now business mainstream Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous
  11. The Common Aim - Connecting the inside-out and outside-in perspectives
  13. Everything Connected Over 1 trillion sensors are connected to multiple networks: everything that can benefit from a connection has one. We deliver 10,000x more data 100x more effectively but are increasingly concerned about the security of the information that flows.
  14. Imbalanced Population Growth A growing population adds another billion people but it is also rapidly ageing: a child born next year will live 6 months longer than one born today. While migration helps to rebalance, increasing dependency ratios challenge many.
  15. Key Resource Constraints Economic, physical and political shortages of key resources increase and drive increasing tension between and within countries. As we exceed the Earth’s natural thresholds, food and water receive as much focus as oil and gas.
  16. Shifting Power and Influence The centre of gravity of economic power continues shifting eastwards, back to where it was 2000 years ago. Recent superpowers seek to moderate the pace of change but the realities of population and resource locations are immoveable.
  17. Adaptation to Climate Change As the impacts of 2oC and 3oC of global warming become more apparent, organisations focus on adaptation as well as mitigation of climate change. Operational resilience becomes the key focus for many companies.
  18. Accelerating Displacement Climate change, conflict, resource shortages, inequality and political elites unable or unwilling to bring about necessary change all trigger unprecedented migration North. Over the next 50 years, as many as 1 billion people could be on the move.
  19. Rising Youth Unemployment With unemployment rates over 50% in some nations, access to work is a rising barrier. Especially across North Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe, a lost generation of 100m young people fails to gain from global growth.
  20. Truth and Illusion The Internet has democratised knowledge and changed the nature of who we trust and why. As confidence in large organisations declines the search for trustworthy alternatives evolves. What we believe is changing how we behave.
  21. THE FUTURE BUSINESS LANDSCAPE Purpose of the Company Digital Business Future Organisation Future Consumer
  23. The Composite Consumer Flexible digital identities allow consumers to connect with each other even as they connect with brands. Loyal relationships will be made not just with individual customers but also with families, couples, and groups of friends.
  24. Continuous Proof of Loyalty Brands have to consistently demonstrate their loyalty to consumers as customer mobility and switching between brands increases. Global, regional and local affiliations blur and drive wider consolidation.
  25. Values over Value As there is a move from affluence to influence, companies cease focusing primarily on persuading customers to buy products. As people are defined more by what they do than what they own, aligning business models to customers’ values is the priority.
  26. Millennial Shopping Millennials and Gen Z are the majority of shoppers and they want different experiences. Although digitally informed and researched, shopping in physical stores with friends is the still the preferred option.
  27. Agelessness A person’s physical age becomes less important as society adapts to the new demographic landscape. New opportunities arise for creators and consumers of all ages, though benefits are often only for the wealthy.
  28. Human Touch As service provision and consumption becomes ever more digital, automated and algorithmic, those brands that can offer more emotional engagement and human-to-human contact become increasingly attractive.
  30. Companies with Purpose As trust in business declines, structures and practices of corporations come under more scrutiny. All companies are called on to improve performance on environmental, social and governance issues and ESG reporting is compulsory.
  31. A Problem of Focus Corporations were originally established with clear public purpose – but today many corporate purposes focus solely on profit. Instead of being part of society, numerous organisations have grown apart from it.
  32. Balanced Purpose Leaders propose that companies adopt a social purpose that takes precedence over, or is balanced with, its commercial purpose: Purpose should be intrinsic to the core of the business and not just driven by shareholder interests.
  33. Long-Term Perspective The primary interest of the board is on its long-term success in achieving the purpose for which the company was incorporated: Innovation and exploring new opportunities is key to sustained growth.
  34. Integrated Reporting Integrated reporting is adopted by an increasing range of companies who want to the ability to tell a story about the bigger picture – previously overlooked in quarterly reports.
  35. A Greater Purpose Directors act within the planetary boundaries and social foundations: The future purpose of corporations becomes to produce profitable solutions to the problems of both people and the planet.
  37. Increasing Value of Data As organisations try to retain as much information about their customers as possible, data becomes a currency with a value and a price. It therefore becomes openly traded within new marketplaces.
  38. Outdated Perspectives There is a fundamental difference between the economics of production of physical vs. digital products (atoms vs. bits). Many companies seek alternatives to the principles that were established during the first Industrial Revolution.
  39. The Rise of Intangibles In 1975 17% of the market value of the S&P500 was based on intangibles: By 2015 this had flipped to 84%. Many leading companies increasingly focus on innovating to build IP, brand value and other key assets.
  40. Speed to Scale Digital firms face few limits in their ability to scale – the bigger they are the bigger they are likely to become. Greater connectivity shrinks the time to 1bn customers and a $10bn valuation. Revenue / employee is up to 20 times traditional leaders.
  41. Growth Opportunities With faster change and the 4th Industrial Revolution building traction, many see a major impact on jobs - creating new ones but rendering others redundant. Several view capturing opportunities to be a significant driver of growth.
  42. Reinventing Roles Will the shifts ahead drive mass unemployment or can the evolutions that replaced blacksmiths with car mechanics be repeated? Technology will have a fundamental impact on roles that are currently part of our social fabric, many of which are reinvented.
  43. Data as an Asset A firm’s data is seen as an asset and as a liability. As it is increasingly traded, Integrated Reporting will include data as a ‘capital’ alongside financial, social, environmental and human capital. Annual reports reflect this.
  44. Acting Beyond Regulators As data flows freely across borders, effective national regulation around its use is difficult. Led by the EU, more regional initiatives have greater impact; however, industry attempts to limit this as self regulation is maintained for all but the most challenging issues.
  46. Organisation 3.0 New forms of flatter, project-based, collaborative, virtual, informal organisations dominate - enabled by technology and a global mobile workforce. As such the nature of work and the role of the organisation blurs.
  47. Supply Webs The shift from centralised production to decentralised manufacturing drives many to take the ‘smaller and distributed’ approach: Global supply chains are replaced by more regional, consumer-orientated supply webs and networks.
  48. The Nimble Organisation? Traditional firms are going out of business quicker: Over the last 30 years the ‘average lifespan’ on the S&P500 has dropped from 35 years to 15. Growth companies today make decisions through collective wisdom.
  49. A Change in Structure There is a shift from vertically integrated to horizontally specialised firms – from product to platform and from sector to ecosystem: Firms move from being a nexus of contracts with standardised rules to mechanisms of coordination.
  50. Reskilling and Upskilling As some sectors and countries gain from new technology, others will correspondingly lose out and fall behind. A response to this will drive both the call for more reskilling and upskilling as well as an inevitable surge in migration.
  51. Sometimes Nomads Elective migration, cheap travel, international knowledge sharing and increasingly transient working models create connected nomads who mix the traditions of home with the values and customs of their host location.
  52. Smaller ‘Big’ Companies The employment pool expands with ‘on and off-balance sheet talent’. In 2008 the world’s ten most valuable companies employed 3.5m. Today, the top ten companies are worth twice as much, but only have 50% of the employees. By 2028 they employ only 1m.
  53. The Freelance Economy The majority of us will be independent ‘free agents’ available for work as projects require. In 2018 36% of the US workforce were freelancers – this will rise to 50% by 2030. Up to 60% of freelancers are professionals.
  54. Projects Not Jobs The future organisation is increasingly flexible, permeable, flat and virtual. Companies shift from being employers to become the bodies that create or coordinate projects that an increasingly freelance population delivers.
  55. Future of the Company The whole notion of an organisation has to be updated: The future of the company is as much in flux as the future of work itself. Innovation to drive long-term growth in a digital world is critical.
  57. Future Agenda, 84 Brook Street, London W1K 5EH +44 203 0088 141 | | @futureagenda