strategy+business Summer 2016

Experience the ideas and stories that raise the game for management, written and expounded clearly enough to provide the basis for thoughtful action. Through in-depth feature stories, thought leader interviews, and strategic commentaries, each issue of strategy+business provides an informed global perspective for decision makers in organizations around the world.

United States
PwC Strategy& LLC
6,65 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
13,31 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
4 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min
islands of certainty

Even more than usual, I see a lot of uncertainty in the news these days. Nobody is sure what’s going to happen next with the U.S. presidential election, the European Union, or Asian economies. And yet, as the articles in this issue remind us, there are some aspects of the future we can count on. The development may not always be positive. But there are islands of certainty that stand as beacons to guide our way through the murky swells of the unknown. In the cover story, “Global Power Shift,” Dennis Chesley, Miles Everson, and John Garvey outline three inevitable aspects of the future that few are prepared for: an increasingly multipolar global economy led by the U.S. and China, the continued evolution of state-controlled corporations, and dramatic reactions as companies…

8 min
your next board member should be a geek

Imagine that you were a major investor in a leading company, and its board of directors had no members with independent, worldclass financial expertise. Who would look after your interests? You could probably coach the directors to ask good questions, but they would lack the competence to judge the answers. The board would not be able to engage management in robust conversations about the complexities of capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, financial accounting, reporting, regulatory compliance, or risk management. Most investors and regulators would deem such a board unfit to carry out its fiduciary guidance and governance responsibilities. Yet that’s precisely where many companies are when it comes to information technology. Digitally driven change is becoming as critical an issue to most companies as finance. Companies are being called on to…

9 min
a new map for business in africa

Only a few years ago, Africa was being dubbed “the next Asia,” and multinationals watched with mounting interest as local economies boomed across the continent. Although a decline in global commodity demand has since ushered in a slowdown, Africa remains a promising long-term growth market. Its GDP grew about 3.4 percent in 2015, a full percentage point above the global growth rate, and is expected to increase to 4.2 percent in 2016, according to World Bank forecasts. The African Development Bank estimates that consumer spending will reach US$2.2 trillion by 2030 (up more than twofold from $680 billion in 2008). As home to seven of the world’s megacities, and with 29 million youths entering the labor force each year, Africa is fertile ground for investment in such areas as infrastructure…

9 min
social network effects

YOUNG PROFS Job seekers are keenly aware that who they know matters. A friend at a prospective employer can push a resume to the top of the pile, put in a good word, or arrange an introductory lunch. Companies, for their part, are happy to oblige. Employee referrals help them cut through the noise, target searches, and save money. Social networks play a positive role in the hiring process. But what can these useful connections tell us about performance on the job? Does the advantage of knowing someone carry over once an individual joins a firm? Adina Sterling has been asking these questions since transitioning from engineer to academic nearly a decade ago. Sterling had spent five years with Procter & Gamble’s global baby care and beauty care R&D teams before leaving…

8 min
corporate first responders

What happens when governments lack the resources to respond immediately to a natural disaster? When Japan was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and 100-foot tsunami in 2011, it was the world’s third-richest economy. But at the time, the country’s public debt stood at more than twice the level of its GDP, and its real interest rates were negative. Japan’s leaders found themselves with little in their economic arsenal to quickly draw down for emergency assistance. In the months after the disaster, national production faltered, Japan’s supply of goods contracted by an estimated 20 percent, and the country’s stock market and credit rating plummeted. We’ve seen similar scenarios in Italy, after the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009; in New Zealand, after the Christchurch earthquake in 2011; and in the U.S., after Superstorm…

8 min
small customer today, revenue giant tomorrow

Most large companies rely on bread-and-butter customers, those whose repeat sales have long provided a steady stream of revenue. But with each new digital innovation, this model loses some of its luster. Telecom companies feeling price pressure from over-the-top mobile players, health insurance payors coping with the spread of private health exchanges and increased consumerization, and financial-services firms facing the rise of fintechs are all reexamining their business models and offerings. The market is also changing for tech firms. Cloud startups with their growing customer base are rapidly becoming a legitimate source of competition. Incumbents are trying to solve the problem by investing in their own cloud offerings. But in many cases such moves have not been accompanied by a shift in the sales strategy. Incumbents are still segmenting almost exclusively…