We have identified six key global mega-trends that affect businesses now and in the future. We call these the Forces for Change.
We encourage businesses to use these six lenses in reviewing the changing context within which they are operating. This tool will support businesses in understanding the threats, but more importantly in identifying business opportunities, as we move towards a world of 9 billion people.
of business leaders think they will need a different business model to remain fit for the future, but only 17% have business plans that currently look 10+ years.
Why is this relevant to business?
Addressing these issues has a clear business benefit - the future survival of your business.
By 2050, many traditional business models will no longer be feasible, and certain products/services will become obsolete or their production/delivery will be untenable due to the influence of such forces.
Business leaders must develop their thinking to challenge conventional business models to ensure their business prospers by responding in the right way, and at the right time, to these pressing issues.
Balance Shift: from West to East and North to South
Significant population growth in emerging markets will continue to shift our current world order with the developed economies faced with an aging and shrinking population.
Emerging and frontier markets have opportunities for growth that often aren’t available in more developed economies.
Protection: resources and practices no longer open to all
Companies implicated in any way with species extinctions can expect to be black listed and reviled. In contrast, those companies that are seen to be protecting people and the natural systems upon which we all depend will be hailed as heroes of the new economy.
Connectedness: instant global communities
Communications technology is creating a world where people’s awareness of global developments in ideas, politics and popular aspirations is growing in both speed and reach.
The very same tools and technologies allow communities to assemble almost instantaneously (across markets, generations and political divides) to influence or to create alternatives to traditional business, government and community structures.
Fragile Earth: changing climate and fewer natural resources
The concept of scarcity is fundamental. It is rooted in the environmental realities of the planet, ruled and limited by entropy and ecology.
Adaptive businesses will do more with less and also enable their customers to do more with less too. This does not just add a real and immediate commercial advantage, it also positions the company as a leader which helps to builds its brand among environmentally and socially-conscious consumers.
Transparency: your business is everybody's business
The ability of consumers to understand how a company operates and where their products come from is increasing all the time. This is made easier by the rights of public access to information and the internet.
'Open’ companies, those which have embraced the new ways to communicate with stakeholders, may be able to respond to rapidly evolving market places in the way that a more traditional ‘closed’ company may struggle.
Values Shift: decline of blind consumerism
We are experiencing a widespread reassessment of the values that underpin society. There is a growing realisation that we need to apportion more value to natural systems and become aware of the limitations and threats posed by conventional economic growth
Companies and brands who are perceived as embodying values held dear by people can see their consumers be transformed into brand ambassadors.