57 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

April 09, 2014

Talent: the first step to innovation?

Post WEF LATAMBuilding innovation is one of those hot topics that yield all sorts of discussion about disruptive technology—the cloud, 3-D printing, social media, digital infrastructure, et cetera. But what spurs innovation may come down to something much more basic: talent. And at the World Economic Forum on Latin America  (WEF LATAM) last week, it was clear that participants from this region agree.

Two sessions at WEF LATAM were completely devoted to the topic of talent and it came up often throughout the event, including during the session I participated in, “Innovating for Competiveness.” When the moderator asked a panelist, a minister for information technologies and communications  from Colombia, what three areas he would invest in to build innovation in his country he answered: “Talent, talent, and talent.”

Talent, according to the World Bank, is one of the major challenges to building innovation-driven businesses in the region. There appears to be plenty of entrepreneurship, but of these, very few are innovation-driven—and that’s where the real quality of growth comes from.1 

Many Latin American countries have improved in terms of education over the past decade. Their levels of investment into education and graduation rates are steadily improving.2 But as the President of Costa Rica said in one session on talent, the number of graduates is not so important as what students are graduating in. Are they graduating in engineering, the sciences, the all-important information communications technology fields? And are the institutions that educate students aligned with what job markets really demand? According to The Economist magazine, “Countries with the lowest youth jobless rates have a close relationship between education and work.”3
 
Talent as it relates to innovation also has an impact on competition. For those companies competing for limited talent resources in these markets, having an innovation edge is critical. That’s particularly true with millennials: eighty-nine percent of these in Latin America are strongly influenced by how innovative a company was when deciding if they wanted to work there, says Deloitte’s Millennial Survey. So it’s a virtuous cycle: the right talent creates innovative cultures within a company and, therefore, can attract more of the best talent.

Undoubtedly, when discussing how to build innovation, the conversation needs to be broad and deep. This is especially true when it comes to a region like Latin America that is only just embarking on innovation-driven growth. But talent is a good place to start—and  it may be the only place.

1 Latin American Entrepreneurs: Many Firms but Little Innovation, World Bank Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2014; 2 Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? School Enrollment, Graduation, and Dropout Rates in Latin America, Inter-American Development Bank, 2013; 3 “Youth unemployment: Generation jobless,” 27 April 2013, The Economist.

 


Dttl_garycoleman_56x56 Gary Coleman is Managing Director, Global Industries, of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. He is a member of Deloitte’s Global Markets Committee and is the lead partner in Deloitte’s strategic relationship with the World Economic Forum. Follow him on Twitter @gcoleman_gary.

January 28, 2014

Davos 2014: Optimism with a healthy dose of reality

Post-davos photoWith economic recovery seeming to finally take hold this year, I was not surprised that many of the Davos 2014 speakers sounded a positive note for the future. Nowhere was this more evident than in the remarks from country leaders. But these leaders understood that there is still a lot of work to be done—and it was striking how in sync they were when it came to the challenge going forward: building and sustaining growth.

South Korea is focusing on entrepreneurship and building a “creative economy,” where individuals are encouraged to start businesses and put “innovation into action,” according to President Park Geun-hye. Similarly, Liberia is making strategic investments in education and focusing on public-private partnerships to spur the rise of small and medium businesses. Mexico is working to promote start-ups by reforming fiscal policies to allow greater access to credit.

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January 27, 2014

Shaping the future together

Deloitte Davos Live video screen_300x200Times of global change require leaders with a global vision – leaders who inspire confidence and foster innovation. I see this attitude reflected in Davos. I have noticed a remarkable shift of attention at this year’s World Economic Forum. While the meetings in past years focused heavily on finance and the banking industry, representatives of the global technology industry are clearly the thought leaders now.

At the same time, politics seems to have been pushed into the background somewhat – especially, European representatives are less visible this year. But Europe’s image has not yet fully recovered after the Euro crisis and the world is closely watching how European banks will perform in the stress tests.

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January 21, 2014

Business must disrupt the status quo

Blog_joee_davos14_300x200It’s time for real change. It’s time for disruption.

In the last few years, the world has been lurching from financial crisis to financial crisis. As business leaders gathered last year at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, the U.S. government had just narrowly averted falling off the fiscal cliff. Less than a year later, the U.S. found itself in a similar situation, which resulted in the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Despite all of this, in the U.S., and globally, there have been positive signs of economic recovery and business growth. Momentum continues and that is why I’m optimistic for the upcoming year.

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What the worker of tomorrow wants

Dttl_davos14_positiveimpact_300x200More than 1,500 business leaders are gathering here in Davos, most of them part of the C-suite in their organizations. And as they mix with heads of state, influential NGOs, and the occasional celebrity, I doubt they are thinking about workers 30ish and under.

But they should be.

By 2030, more than 70 percent of the workforce will be made up of workers born after 1983—the millennials . And according to a new survey released today by Deloitte, businesses need to be aware of three key themes on millennials’ minds: social impact, social media, and innovation.

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January 20, 2014

Womenomics in action

Goto_yoriko_300x200This year I am attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos as a representative from Deloitte Japan and as a Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) board member. Even as a third-time delegate, I am always thrilled to meet great people and be exposed to new perspectives and innovative ideas.

Last year, I emphasized the importance of including women in the boardroom for business development and innovation. In fact, DTTL has increased the percentage of female board members from 8 percent to 25 percent this year. It is a great honor for me to have been appointed as one of the DTTL board of directors in addition to a board member role in Deloitte Japan.

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January 15, 2014

Davos 2014: Shaping and the shapers

Anoterh WEF image 2“Reshaping of the World,” the theme for Davos 2014, can bring to mind a range of unsettling trends and forces now bearing down on today’s society. Disruptive innovation. Digital technology. The impact of a hyper-connected populace. The shift of the workforce to millennials. A growing uncertainty toward traditional institutions. But the theme is also about taking action—and points to the Forum’s dynamic response to these “reshaping” trends at its flagship event and throughout the year.

Deloitte is playing an active role in this response, working with the Forum to debate, collaborate, and research many of the topics to be raised at Davos 2014. I personally have participated, along with other Deloitte leaders, in regional summits around the globe, offering and responding to a range of exciting ideas and solutions to the challenges now facing governments and businesses. From competitiveness in Latin America, to the sharing economy in Myanmar, to resilience in the value chain in China, the ideas brought forth at these summits inform the Davos 2014 theme and help set the path forward.

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November 11, 2013

People, change, and surviving the innovator’s curse

APLC blog image 2If you type the word “innovation” into the search window on Google books, you get more than 54 million hits—a testimony to how the pursuit of innovation has taken hold as the prime business imperative of the 21st century. But is innovation itself really a solution?

On a recent panel I moderated in Taipei, Ming-Je Tang, Vice President for Finance Affairs and Professor of International Business at National Taiwan University, took up this question. He listed a number of companies that were home to some of the most miraculous innovations of the 20th century—from mass production assembly lines to the personal computer. The thing they all had in common in addition to that innovation was that they are all either now struggling—or gone. They are victims, he says, of the “innovator’s curse.”

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September 06, 2013

Chasing big ideas in East Asia

Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a World Economic Forum event in an equally amazing locale: Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, where the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia was held. Moderating the panel “Chasing the Next Big Idea”—with a range of stakeholders, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair—I witnessed first-hand how bold thinking  can contribute to the future of East Asian countries.

Despite recent headlines touting the slow-down in the region, East Asia’s star continues to be on the rise. Five countries in the East Asia region now fall in the top 20 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, with most scoring above average. And according to UN Millennium Development Goals, East Asia—including the Pacific—is on target to lower poverty rates from 50 percent in 1990 to less than 10 percent in 2015.

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July 23, 2013

Visit to the 50th International Paris Air Show

Dttl_2012aerospaceoutlook_200X200A few weeks back I spent a fascinating week at the 50th International Paris Air Show with an international delegation of Deloitte member firm partners. This was my second annual visit to the show, which alternates sites each year between Paris, France, and Farnborough, United Kingdom. The Paris Air Show serves as the primary gathering for senior executives from almost every aerospace and defense (A&D) company from around the world.  The high quality interactions held at the show make it a key event for Deloitte’s Global A&D Sector group to attend. The Deloitte team took advantage of the opportunity to have several meetings with various industry executives, attend numerous receptions, participate in media interviews, and also attend many industry seminars.

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