The differing rates of economic growth, or indeed, contraction that we see around the world together
with greater volatility, has made it more difficult for companies to create and execute new growth
strategies. Other changes have compounded the challenges. These include the impact of new digital
technologies, shifting demographics, changing customer behaviour and mounting pressure on the
world's most critical natural resources. The links between business and governments around the world
have also become clearer and more important.
Seeing the future clearly and developing a proactive response; rather than simply reacting to events; will be a key source of competitive advantage in a fast-evolving market.
Top executives in every industry are considering how to succeed in this new environment. They're
thinking about how best to pull strategic levers like talent, collaboration and innovation.
They're also reassessing their risk strategies and organisational and analytical techniques to
make their companies more resilient. And some of them are targeting specific emerging economies,
which they now regard as more promising than their traditional markets.
But all markets vary; as do the needs and wants of the customers they comprise. So it's essential to have a global growth strategy that's underpinned by the ability to get closer to customers at local level. This often entails dealing with different demographic profiles, assumptions, behavioural patterns and the like. It may also mean localising a company's power structure, allowing the business to pivot in different directions across different markets as conditions change.
That's a tall order, especially given the need to keep a tight global rein on costs and risks. But, in our view, local responsiveness is now vital for the success of any strategy based on global growth.
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