Business trends that will shape the 21st century
New book: Global Remix by author Richard Scase released December 2006
- By 2008 India will have 60 million technology graduates – a number which corresponds to the entire population of Britain
- The US has created 350,000 registered companies, partnerships and joint ventures in China, while the rest of the world has created 150,000
- On a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China and India accounted for 32% of global GDP growth in 2003. They will be in the first and third place respectively in the GDP world ranking by 2050
From 2010, in Western Europe, the ‘age dependency’ of the population (the number of non-workers expressed as a percentage of the working population) will rise from 50% to a peak of 70% around 2035
The restructuring of the global economy requires corporate leaders to fundamentally rethink how and where they do business. Global Remix, by author Richard Scase released in December 2006, provides an informative overview of future trends and the impact of these on two levels: the corporate and the individual. Business leaders need to be aware of these trends if they are to survive in the 21st century.
Global business is being restructured through the rise of India and China and the other Asian economies. This is leading to the shift of mass manufacturing to these countries. It is also having a major impact on energy and commodity prices. According to current statistics, the world will run out of oil in 40 years’ time, and China now accounts for one-third of the annual increase in global oil consumption.
At the corporate level, companies must be ‘globally integrated’ meaning they must meet local needs while achieving economies of scale. This is made possible by internet technologies which allow enterprises to instantly communicate their knowledge from the West to their hubs in more dynamic economies, where cheaper labour and a very motivated workforce are available.
Companies need to restructure to become ‘café corporations’ if they want to win the ‘war for talent’. Café corporations are highly informal and highly unstructured. Moreover, they have an intensive work routine and are very demanding upon the psychological, emotional and creative qualities of their employees.
At the individual level the future will see the rise of the following types of employees. Corporate celebrities, whose role is ambassadorial as they promote the values of the company externally and internally. Corporate lieutenants who realise the vision of the corporate celebrity.
Corporate stalwarts who are lower level managers and highly specialised full-timers. They need to acquire new skills
throughout their working lives to maintain their own competitive advantage. Corporate travellers, the freelancers who are not loyal to any enterprise but are opportunist. And finally, the corporate orphans who do the most humble jobs.
Businesses have to develop new marketing strategies to reach their core customers and the long tail. In a world of MySpace and YouTube, consumers reject traditional advertising and marketing techniques. The paradigm shift in consumer psychology demands a paradigm shift in how companies reach consumers.
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