With 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.
Continue reading "Davos 2014: Optimism with a healthy dose of reality" »
Times 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.
Continue reading "Shaping the future together" »
It’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.
Continue reading "Business must disrupt the status quo" »
More 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.
Continue reading "What the worker of tomorrow wants" »
This 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.
Continue reading "Womenomics in action" »
“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.
Continue reading "Davos 2014: Shaping and the shapers" »
If 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.”
Continue reading "People, change, and surviving the innovator’s curse" »
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.
Continue reading "Chasing big ideas in East Asia" »
A 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.
Continue reading "Visit to the 50th International Paris Air Show" »
In my conversations with leaders in the private and public sectors, there’s a clear desire for businesses to play a significant role in helping address complex global challenges. Outcomes like economic stability, public health and well-being, high-quality education, and protection of human rights are too far-reaching for any one organization, or even a whole sector, to bring about independently. So collaboration among institutions and groups to address these issues is essential.
Over the next few days, I’ll have the privilege of attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Each year the forum draws a distinguished group of business executives, government officials, media leaders, and other influential figures.
Continue reading "Collaboration: A new imperative for societal impact" »