MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Business and Society

We are operating in a globalized world, and businesses likewise need to adapt accordingly. There is a recurrent theme emerging from different organizations about the need to provide corporate training sessions to its employees for understanding cross-cultural nuances. This is a central theme in the new book written by Stanford professor Scotty McLennan titled Global Business: Unspoken Rules of the Game. He speaks about how cultural factors vary from one country to another, even amongst seemingly similar cultures. In Mexico for example, guided by Catholic values, family and professional life are not to be separated. So, to attain business success in the country, one needs to start off by creating familial warmth with the partners. In the USA on the other hand, dominated by Protestant beliefs, personal and professional lives are to be totally divorced with a strict adherence towards timelines and schedules. What might appear as nepotism to outsiders in China, is actually an extension of the Confucian principles which dictate that family unity must be above all else. Ideas of Zen Buddhism are increasingly making their way into the oft ruthless world of business.

Source:https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/exploring-origins-foreign-cultural-values?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Insights&Date=20180910&linkId=56575421

Uploaded Date:13 September 2018

A recent study was anchored by the BCG titled the SEDA (Sustainable Economic Development Assessment) report. This study was about the correlation between any nation’s wealth with its developmental agenda. Two key findings were made. Contrary to popular expression, wellbeing has actually increased in spite of the 2008 global financial crisis. This well-being however did not affect the near-term economic growth of the countries. BCG also conducted another study titled TSI (Total Societal Impact) where it found that the financial performance actually rose as a result of better social and environmental measures taken up. Companies would thus be well advised to tweak their corporate strategy in a way that it can also incorporate social and environmental elements within the game plan. A mindset needs to be cultivated where people are ready to think differently. Leaders need to reset their traditional strategic planning to connect to more constituencies.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/combining-economic-growth-social-well-being-david-young/?linkId=55119478

Uploaded Date:09 August 2018

In the “winner takes all” mindset of the digital age, inequalities are on the rise. These are leveraged by populist politicians but cannot be denied. While technology has been a major growth driver, and increased prosperity, it has also created massive inequalities. There is now an ever-widening gap between the elites and the others. The Gini Coefficient for example is widening especially in places such as France, UK and USA, but also in emerging markets such as India, China and Indonesia. The corporate focus on maximizing shareholder value led to mass increase in income levels, but also with growth rates falling and global trade on a slump, there is a need to rejig strategies. Automation is fueling fears of job losses. There is now a need for a new kind of business leader. The CEO of today needs to be more inclusive in approach. This will help shape the new globalization wave. New technologies such as blockchain need be embraced. Entrepreneurial business growth needs to be provided a fillip. Sensors, software and business analytics are realigning value creation away from standalone products to suites of them. Substantial investment needs to be made in management training of existing employees. Rewards need be realigned towards more holistic goals. Finally, a social business mindset needs to be brought in.

Source:https://www.bcg.com/publications/2017/strategy-agenda-for-future-global-business.aspx?linkId=52367373

Uploaded Date:10 July 2018

There is a constant conflict in business on whether to purely maximize shareholder returns or to also cater to the other stakeholders such as society and the environment. Some approaches have been identified which can help balance the two ends- social welfare and profit maximization. These approaches can broadly be classified under three heads. The first is primarily targeted towards profit maximization, while the second looks at social welfare, and a third tries to balance out the two. Profit maximization in itself may get tweaked as enlightened or constrained. Social welfare too could be simple, constrained or enlightened. The approach depends on the company’s corporate strategy to decide which path it will veer towards. The middle path is most common which involves a weighted combination of goals. Sometimes a hierarchy is also created to rank the objectives. Another approach is the complementary one, with exact equal eight assigned to each of the two maxims.

Source:https://knowledge.insead.edu/responsibility/balancing-profit-and-social-welfare-ten-ways-to-do-it-9421

Uploaded Date:04 July 2018

There is substantial talk now about the concept of Greenwashing where environmentally conscious efforts are destabilizing for-profit businesses. There is the fear of overdoing it. Yet that may not be true as several formerly ruthless businesses have now buckled down and looking to fruitfully engage with the community on social and environmental causes. The list includes the likes of BlackRock, Shell and Vanguard. In order to strike the right balance, and ensure maximum rewards for different stakeholders, companies need to properly define and map social responsibility. Proper reporting tools need to be used so that tangible evidence can be provided. The social responsibility must emanate from the very top, but not as an isolated case. It must be included in the corporate strategy itself so that it finds alignment with the business goals. The social responsibility goals must then be clearly communicated to the staff. A phased divestment helps. Follow up must be done by the company board.

Source:https://knowledge.insead.edu/blog/insead-blog/big-investors-call-for-company-attention-to-social-purpose-what-next-8451

Uploaded Date:16 March 2018

Every few generations major changes take place which shake the very foundation of the existing societies. We are going through one such period, though not it is even more strongly pronounced, thus called mega-change. Newer business models are manifesting themselves regularly while incumbents in different industries are losing ground. There are likewise societal changes accompanying the work pattern evolutions. There is growing anxiety in the developed markets regarding potential job losses due to automation. There have also been geo-political changes and related ramification across the globe from Russia to Venezuela and from Syria to France. A lot of countries have been slow to react to these changes and related business innovations. There is a dire need to bring the world together as happened in 1945, but it needs factors which will be very different from the Marshall Plan which was then implemented to rebuild post-war Europe.

Source:http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/161018b-kwr-westbook/

Uploaded Date:03 March 2018

The Big Four of Silicon Valley’s tech industry- Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google- are responsible for some of the breakthrough innovations over the last decade, and at present are financially rich beyond the norms at any other era. Their investments have helped other companies come out of the recession, have helped spawn new online or mobile based businesses, helped propel the field of digital marketing, and are now major recruiters from college campuses. Yet, the time has come to break them up, as they have now become too big, so detrimental to the overall economy. Their net worth is now well over the combined levels of legacy companies in several other major industries. Yet, they are not paying the kind of taxes, or generating employment that they are easily capable of. Quite to the contrary, these companies’ huge data warehousing machineries enable that they now know all dark secrets for a huge proportion of the population. They have also caused massive inequality and are now striving hard to develop automations, that will render a large proportion of people unemployed and skills irrelevant. Their deep involvement in government projects gives them further access to sensitive public data. While Google or its renamed avatar Alphabet is a mind-altering platform, Facebook targets the heart. In spite of the great progress the American middle-class made between 1941 and 2011, now the real wages for all classes in the US is declining. Markets too are failing, while monopolies are emerging in every known sphere.

Source:http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a15895746/bust-big-tech-silicon-valley/

Uploaded Date:01 March 2018

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