Setting up small and medium-size enterprises for restart and recovery


Governments’ economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have included an array of measures to help people and businesses weather the storm. Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are in an especially difficult position. Plunging demand has forced them to lay off workers, and many don’t have the financial resources to survive in this climate. In many […]

How to scale your digital transformation


When a team of top executives from a North American bank entered a converted warehouse run by a European telecom giant, they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Engineers were live-coding in small teams with designers and businesspeople and reviewing the results right away with customers. They were making adjustments to feedback on the fly. […]

How to restart stalled digital initiatives and transformations


At organizations pursuing digital transformations, more than seven in ten survey respondents say the progress of these efforts has slowed or stalled at some point. In their latest McKinsey Global Survey on the topic, 1 1. The online survey was in the field from May 16 to May 31, 2019, and garnered responses from 1,256 C-level […]

Supple supplies – Businesses are proving quite resilient to the pandemic


IF A VENGEFUL deity were to design a weapon to wield against the global supply chains that characterise modern business, it might well hit on a virus which hit production facilities all around the world. In the face of covid-19, though, the sinews of business have, for the most part, held up remarkably well. Air […]

Driving digital change during a crisis: The chief digital officer and COVID-19


Amid the humanitarian crisis that has upended lives and cast a veil of uncertainty over the future, one thing is clear: we are living in a much more digital world. As governments around the world institute nationwide lockdowns, the demand for digital services and products, from both customers and employees stuck at home, has hit […]

The digital-led recovery from COVID-19: Five questions for CEOs…


There’s a popular meme going around that neatly captures the tipping point of digital. It’s a short questionnaire asking who is driving your digital transformation. The first two options are “CEO” and “chief digital officer.” Below that, highlighted with a bright red circle, is “COVID-19.” The coronavirus pandemic is a humanitarian crisis that continues to […]

How the CPG industry can prepare for the next normal


As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, threatening both lives and livelihoods, consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) manufacturers continue to play an important role: producing essential items we all rely on for our health and well-being. CPG leaders have focused on meeting this demand while guarding the safety of employees and customers. At the same time, forward-thinking […]

How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Redefining Jobs


Martin Barraud/Getty Images The outbreak of Covid-19 has forced organizations into perhaps the most significant social experiment of the future of work in action, with work from home and social distancing policies radically changing the way we work and interact. But the impact on work is far more profound than just changing where people work; […]

Managing manufacturing organizations during coronavirus


As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, manufacturing organizations face significant operational challenges. Some companies have temporarily shuttered factories in response to government restrictions or falling demand, but others are facing significant increases in demand for essential supplies. Frontline manufacturing staff can’t take their work to the relative safety of their homes. Plant leaders […]

Spain, Italy and France are starting to lift their lockdowns


Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum, said: “For those European countries where governments have started to ease restrictions, a controlled transition can be achieved with a number of measures. First, there should be clear evidence that COVID-19 has transitioned to a controlled phase. Sufficient health and medical capacity needs to be […]

Rethink Your Relationship with Your Vendors


We’ve come a long way from the days of horrific working conditions of the industrial age. Yet many companies are still as tough on their vendors as managers were on their employees a century ago. In the gig economy the line between a freelance employee and a traditional vendor has become blurred. Smart companies are […]

Leadership in a crisis: Responding to coronavirus


The coronavirus pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on leaders in business and beyond. The humanitarian toll taken by COVID-19 creates fear among employees and other stakeholders. The massive scale of the outbreak and its sheer unpredictability make it challenging for executives to respond. Indeed, the outbreak has the hallmarks of a “landscape scale” crisis: an […]

How Chinese Companies Have Responded to Coronavirus


Thirawatana Phaisalratana/EyeEm/Getty Images As the Covid-19 crisis spreads to new epicenters in Europe and the U.S., companies are scrambling to mobilize responses. There are no easy answers, due to the unpredictability of disease dynamics, a lack of relevant prior experience, and the absence of plug-and-play instructions from government or international authorities. Clearly each local situation […]

Economic conditions amid the coronavirus outbreak..


In McKinsey’s newest survey on economic conditions, conducted during the first week of March, the coronavirus outbreak overshadowed all other threats to the global economy. 1 1. The online survey was in the field from March 2 to March 6, 2020, and garnered responses from 1,152 participants representing the full range of regions, industries, company […]

How Bad Times Bring Out the Best in People


Ryan McVay/Getty Images It’s easy to look around and see how the Covid-19 crisis has brought out the worst in some people — from hoarding thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer to crowding bars and restaurants despite public-health guidelines. But such irresponsible behavior, I believe, is more the exception than the rule. Time and again, individuals and […]

Enterprise agility: Measuring the business impact…


Enterprise agility was desirable and is now becoming essential. Agility across a whole enterprise combines speed and stability; helps role clarity, innovation, and operational discipline 1 1. Michael Bazigos, Aaron De Smet, and Chris Gagnon, “Why agility pays,” McKinsey Quarterly, December 2015. ; and can produce positive outcomes for organizational health and performance. Although the […]

Grocery retail during the coronavirus crisis: What food retailers should do…


The epidemiological numbers of COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus, are becoming outdated by the hour. While events are rapidly evolving, a few things are becoming clear: Two scenarios are most likely: a delayed recovery or a prolonged contraction. Regardless of which scenario plays out, food retailers will need to think ahead and be prepared to […]

The drive toward sustainable packaging


Sustainability—particularly regulatory and public concerns around single-use packaging waste—is combining with other powerful trends 1 1. Cost pressure, e-commerce and digitization in general, and shifting consumer preferences—for details see David Feber, Daniel Nordigården, and Shekhar Varanasi, “Winning with new models in packaging,” May 2019. to drive major changes in consumer packaging. Regulators are moving on […]

What are the most talent-competitive countries in the world?


Over the past few years, an increasing number of countries have adopted AI strategies. To ensure that AI is a force for good, these strategies must be value-based and principle-led. From a labour market point of view, efforts should be geared to integrating rather than replacing the human factor. Adaptive talent – those skills that […]

How can we manage distractions in the workplace?


Are they two sides of the same coin? The affliction and the cure? Eyal doesn’t see it that way. “Hooked was about how to build good habits,” he says. “I didn’t write it for Google or Facebook or the gaming companies. They’ve known these techniques for a very long time. What I wanted to do […]

Getting practical about the future of work


What story will people tell about your organization over the next ten years? Will they celebrate an enthusiastic innovator that thrived by adapting workforce skills and ways of working to the demands of the new economy? Or will they blame poor financial or operational results, unhappy employees, and community disruption on a short-sighted or delayed […]

The new social contract in the 21st century..


Life has changed substantially for individuals in advanced economies in the first two decades of the 21st century as a result of trends including disruptions in technology, globalization, the economic crisis of 2008 and its recovery, and shifting market and institutional dynamics. In many ways, changes for individuals have been for the better, including new […]

What Makes You “Multicultural”


Microzoa/Getty Images You’ve heard about multicultural societies and groups, but have you thought about multicultural individuals and what they bring to organizations? Multicultural individuals — such as Chinese-Canadians, Turkish-Germans, or Arab-Americans — commonly think, perceive, behave, and respond to global workplace issues in more complex ways than monocultural individuals. Some multicultural individuals translate these differences into […]

The assumptions that underpin modern economics need reviewing. This is why…


Rather than offering a specific critique or solution, I want to draw attention to some foundational issues concerning the evaluation of economics. What makes assessing the discipline so challenging is the very nature of the subject, which is a strange mixture of science and commonsense. This is the reason for many policy mistakes by politicians […]

Greta Thunberg is not alone: Meet the 10 teenage campaigners at Davos 2020


For the first time in its history, the World Economic Forum will welcome teenage change-makers to the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters to boost collaboration between the generations. Here are 10 of them… Canadian Autumn is an Eagle Clan Anishinaabekwe from the Wiikwemkoong First Nation in Northern Ontario. She has been a “water warrior” since the […]

How Corporate Cultures Differ Around the World


Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images Building upon the integrated culture framework we presented in “The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture” (written with our collaborators Jeremiah Lee and Jesse Price), we launched an online assessment to allow HBR readers to explore their own organizations’ cultural profiles. We received over 12,800 responses from across the globe between December 2017 […]

4 ways to build businesses that put people and planet over profits | World Economic Forum


For people working in social enterprise and impact investing, this is not news, although it is very much welcome. However, the bigger and still-outstanding question remains: will this be merely a press release that achieves little beyond a season’s-worth of good PR, or will it lead to tangible, substantive change? On the one hand, there […]

Brexit: The bigger picture | Rethinking UK talent for the long term


Just as British employment levels have reached record highs, the indicators show that the prospect of Brexit has been stemming the flow of foreign talent from the European Union into the United Kingdom and has prompted many EU nationals already there to look elsewhere for career opportunities. For companies operating in the United Kingdom, that […]

Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


i. A company serves its customers by providing a value proposition that best meets their needs. It accepts and supports fair competition and a level playing field. It has zero tolerance for corruption. It keeps the digital ecosystem in which it operates reliable and trustworthy. It makes customers fully aware of the functionality of its […]

Is China the next frontier for the meatless industry?


China’s “free from meat” market, which includes plant-based products meant to replace meat, has grown 33.5% since 2014 to be worth $9.7 billion last year, according to . It predicts that the. U.S. plant-based “meat” makers targeting China like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat Inc will need to battle homegrown rivals which are developing local […]

How inclusive design can reconnect people with government


What’s not to love about Scandinavia? Not only is the region among the world’s most prosperous, healthy, and educated, but it has also given us cultural gems such as ABBA’s pop ballads and Stieg Larsson’s bestselling crime novels, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Scandinavian design, too, has rippled across the world. Danish architect […]

Sovereign wealth could fund the SDGs


The striking fact is that funding is available, but it is not flowing to where it is needed. The total investment available is approximately $98 trillion, including commercial banks, investment banks, insurance and public pensions, sovereign wealth funds, equity funds and public global funds, such as donors, foundations and endowments. This mounting finance gap is […]

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is redefining the economy as we know it


The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) upends current economic frameworks. Who makes money – and how – has changed. Demographics have changed. Even the skills that brought our society to where we are today have changed. Leaders must account for these transformations or risk leaving behind their companies, their customers and their constituents. The top three […]

In our digital age, taxation needs to become more mobile..


For a government to levy corporate tax on a foreign firm, tax rules require a “nexus” or link between the taxpayer and the taxing jurisdiction, typically in the form of physical presence such as offices or workers. In our digital world, firms can interact with users and create value in a country without needing to […]

Successful Singapore – the secrets of the world’s most competitive economy | World Economic Forum


In the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, Singapore scored 85 points out of a possible 100, placing it above the US, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Switzerland in the top five. It was awarded more than 90 points in four of the 12 gauges used to rank the 141 countries and scored more […]

A small group of world leaders are standing together against inequality


This exciting group is brought together by the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, a former trade union leader who leads a nation that at times has felt like a lonely voice in a world of rising inequality. Standing with him were leaders such as the President of Ethiopia – a woman president of one […]

Why Africa’s Industrialization Won’t Look Like China’s


eyegelb/Getty Images China designed and executed a policy that shrank the industrialization process in a mere 25 years — something that many economies took at least a century to do. That redesign has brought immense dislocation in global commerce and industry, enabling China to become one of the world’s leading economies. China’s success has led […]

Ranking 42 Countries by Ease of Doing Digital Business


Paul Taylor/Getty Images The World Bank’s annual Doing Business survey has been described by some as the “World Cup” or “Olympics” for governments competing to make their countries attractive to businesses. The ranking measures how easy it is to do business in a country by examining regulatory environments and is enormously influential: it has inspired […]

Research: How Political Connections Help (and Hurt) Chinese Startups


David Bokeh/Getty Images New ventures need resources to survive, let alone thrive. In emerging markets, their survival also depends on their ability to deal with what academics call the “institutional void” — the lack of strong market intermediaries ensuring the smooth flow of business. In this void, where rules are loosely interpreted, and information hard […]

The Gap Between Large and Small Companies Is Growing. Why?


Gandee Vasan/Getty Images Research and news headlines are replete with the idea that traditional large companies can’t innovate, and that smaller digital companies will render many larger ones extinct. While we’ve seen numerous startups of the last thirty years not only disrupt businesses but become the megacorporations of today, we wondered whether this disruption is […]

These 5 industries can drive digital financial inclusion


Digital payments are no different. Cards and digital wallets are tools; it’s the act of using these tools for making payments that gives them impact. In the past decade, the world has made tremendous progress in expanding access to digital financial services to those at the base of the pyramid, but this has not been […]

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means and how to respond


We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the […]

Britain’s constitutional time-bomb – The next to blow


BRITONS PRIDE themselves on their “unwritten” constitution. America, France and Germany need rules to be set down in black and white. In the Mother of Parliaments democracy has blossomed for over 300 years without coups, revolution or civil war, Irish independence aside. Its politics are governed by an evolving set of traditions, conventions and laws […]

America is deploying a new economic arsenal to assert its power – Weapons of mass disruption


WHEN DONALD TRUMP arrived in the Oval Office he promised to restore America’s might. His method has turned out to be a wholesale weaponisation of economic tools. The world can now see the awesome force that a superpower can project when it is unconstrained by rules or allies. On May 30th the president threatened crippling […]

Why the European Union should not ditch bilateral investment treaties – Foreign-investment disputes


AFTER THE fall of the Berlin Wall and before central and eastern European countries began joining the European Union in 2004, officials in Brussels strongly encouraged bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between the bloc’s members and their neighbours to the east. BITs are inter-governmental agreements that govern disputes between foreign investors and host states. Their purpose […]

Are the ideas of John Maynard Keynes making a comeback?


John Maynard Keynes, the British economist whose theories dominated the industrial postwar West, argued for government spending as a means to counteract slow economic growth. Especially during a recovery from a recession or depression, he reasoned, private demand is insufficient, so extra spending by government is needed to ensure that aggregate demand remains high enough […]

New Zealand has unveiled its first ‘well-being’ budget


Based on the idea that gauging the long-term impact of policies on the quality of people’s lives is better than focusing on short-term output measures, the initiative has five priorities for 2019: aiding the transition to a sustainable and low-emissions economy, supporting a thriving nation in the digital age, lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills […]

Europe and America must work to stop their relationship unravelling – Transatlantic relations


THE ATLANTIC OCEAN is starting to look awfully wide. To Europeans the United States appears ever more remote, under a puzzling president who delights in bullying them, questions the future of the transatlantic alliance and sometimes shows more warmth towards dictators than democrats. Americans see an ageing continent that, though fine for tourists, is coming […]

China may soon run its first annual current-account deficit in decades – The big flip


THAT CHINA sells more to the world than it buys from it can seem like an immutable feature of the economic landscape. Every year for a quarter of a century China has run a current-account surplus (roughly speaking, the sum of its trade balance and net income from foreign investments). This surplus has been blamed […]

A Chinese economist explains what we get wrong about the trade war


Fearful that China’s rise threatens livelihoods in the United States and anxious to protect the intellectual property of American companies, President Trump slapped tariffs on $250bn worth of Chinese goods in 2018. China, meanwhile, retaliated with duties on $110bn of US products. The US had threatened to escalate the situation by increasing tariff rates on […]

Oh **UK! What next for Brexit? – A country in chaos


WHEN HISTORIANS come to write the tale of Britain’s attempts to leave the European Union, this week may be seen as the moment the country finally grasped the mess it was in. In the campaign, Leavers had promised voters that Brexit would be easy because Britain “holds all the cards”. This week Parliament was so […]

A French habit is spreading – European governments are intervening in business again


IF YOU CAN’T beat them, adopt their worst economic policies. Worried about the “aggressive strategies” of America and China, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, issued a Europe-wide proclamation on March 4th that, among other things, proposed a new revolutionary era of government intervention in European Union businesses (see article). “We cannot suffer in silence,” he declared, […]

Europe and America must work to stop their relationship unravelling – Transatlantic relations


THE ATLANTIC OCEAN is starting to look awfully wide. To Europeans the United States appears ever more remote, under a puzzling president who delights in bullying them, questions the future of the transatlantic alliance and sometimes shows more warmth towards dictators than democrats. Americans see an ageing continent that, though fine for tourists, is coming […]

The struggle to reform China’s economy – Pandas can fly


FOR THE past two weeks Chinese and American negotiators have been locked in talks in Beijing and Washington to end their trade conflict before the deadline of March 1st, when America will ratchet up tariffs on Chinese goods or, perhaps, let the talks stretch into extra time. Don’t be distracted by mind-numbing details on soyabean […]

Millennial socialism – The resurgent left


AFTER THE collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 20th century’s ideological contest seemed over. Capitalism had won and socialism became a byword for economic failure and political oppression. It limped on in fringe meetings, failing states and the turgid liturgy of the Chinese Communist Party. Today, 30 years on, socialism is back in […]

How young people are turning the tide against corruption


This is not filling global youth with hope for the future. Young people continue to name corruption as the biggest challenge they face, according to a survey carried out through the Accountability Lab in conjunction the World Economic Forum. And with good reason – corruption has a high cost for society and the economy. It […]

The fragmentation of the big parties – British politics


IN THE PAST few years many of the MPs in Britain’s main parties have grown increasingly unhappy. One reason Brexit has proved tricky is that the party divide does not map onto views about Europe. This week 11 moderate MPs, eight Labour and three Conservative, decided that they had had enough—and more may join them. […]

Thailand’s king blocks his sisters attempt to become prime minister – Thai politics


THE PLAN was too bold. On the morning of February 8th the Thai Raksa Chart party surprised the world. It submitted just one name to the Election Commission to run as its candidate for the office of prime minister: Princess Ubolratana. The likely outcome of an election slated for March 24th seemed to change in […]

Sweden gives all employees time off to be entrepreneurs


Anyone who’s been in full-time employment for at least six months is entitled to apply for the unpaid sabbatical, or tjänstledighet, as it’s called in Sweden. Employers can only turn the request down if the employee is vital to the business’s operations. Also, your new idea can’t compete with your existing employer, nor cause them […]

Four ways we can fix economics in 2019


A Brexiteer’s statement in the wake of the referendum in 2016 captures the frustrations felt by many under the twin forces of globalization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Never has the economy changed so quickly, nor with such glaring visibility of the gap between the winners and those left behind. The backlash is hardly surprising. […]

Chinese upside down digger

Chinese investment in infrastructure is often a diplomatic trap – Banyan


FOR MONTHS Mahathir Mohamad has been plucking up courage to declare that, when it comes to Chinese investment in infrastructure, his is the Malaysia that can say no. At a projected cost of $20bn, the East Coast Rail Link, planned to run down peninsular Malaysia’s eastern seaboard before cutting west, is a big deal. In […]

The top 10 European cities to launch a business in after Brexit


Brexit. Since June 2016, it’s been the word on everyone’s lips and – with fresh commentary flooding news outlets and social media every day – at everyone’s fingertips. Today, much of this discourse is fuelled simply by uncertainty. We all know how Brexit came to be, but as yet nobody knows exactly what’ll happen after […]

The steam has gone out of globalisation – Slowbalisation


WHEN AMERICA took a protectionist turn two years ago, it provoked dark warnings about the miseries of the 1930s. Today those ominous predictions look misplaced. Yes, China is slowing. And, yes, Western firms exposed to China, such as Apple, have been clobbered. But in 2018 global growth was decent, unemployment fell and profits rose. In […]

Why universities for the elderly are booming in China – The Economist explains


SEVERAL times a year, groups of silver-haired Chinese people camp out overnight. They do so in order to get prime spots to register for places at the country’s universities for the elderly. Since 1983, when China’s first such school opened, 70,000 more have cropped up across the country. They offer courses in pursuits like dancing, […]

How to survive and thrive in our age of uncertainty


We are living through an era of intense turbulence, disillusionment and bewilderment. Deepening geopolitical tensions are transforming international relations, and political tribalism is revealing deep fissures within countries. The spread of exponential technologies is upending long-held assumptions about security, politics, economics and so much more. At least two factors distinguish the current phase of globalization […]

What Countries and Companies Can Do When Trade and Cybersecurity Overlap


Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images Cybersecurity as a key issue for trade policy is a relatively new development. In the last few years there have been a number of news reports about various governments’ incorporating spyware, malware, or similar programs into computer-based products that are exported around the world. The governments typically have worked with private companies […]

3 ways to be a good leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


The world is seeing revolutionary advances in science and technology – artificial intelligence, gene editing, robotics, and so on – that have together been dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Success in this new era – whether that means corporate profits, macroeconomic growth, human welfare or solving the most intractable problems facing the world – will […]

Is this a turning point in the fight against slavery?


Arguably the most famous brand in the world, Apple had not only publicly taken steps to try to eradicate forced labour from its operations, it had walked away with the top prize. Despite its vast and complex networks of supply chains, the high-profile jury of experts judged that Apple was “leading the way in all […]

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan, and the Need for Stronger Corporate Governance in Japan


Westend61/Getty Images Carlos Ghosn was widely recognized as a hero in Japan for turning around Nissan when it was on the brink of bankruptcy in 1999. Things couldn’t look more different today. Ghosn was recently arrested for financial misconduct, fired from his position as Nissan’s board chairman, and criticized by Nissan’s Japanese CEO for accumulating too much power. […]