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" »
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" »
Disruptive innovation is a subject we hear a lot about these days. But never have I heard its impact on the large versus the small quite so sharply represented as during a panel I recently moderated made up of business executives.
Let me set the stage. All of the panelists had experienced the perspective of the large, multinational enterprise. One panelist is currently serving as COO of a large bank with 40,000 employees. One had worked for large companies but now was the CEO of his own successful tech start-up. Another panelist was the former CEO and president of a multinational pharmaceutical company and is now a partner in a small private equity firm. Similarly, the last panelist had worked in large tech companies but is now a partner with a smaller enterprise.
Continue reading "Disruptive innovation: It's now the fast that eat the slow" »
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC, or Summer Davos) in Dalian, China, last week centered on the theme of innovation. With China’s growth no longer in the double digits, innovation and the energy it can bring to the world economy is looming large. Indeed, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was emphatic in his remarks at the event’s opening plenary: “Innovation is the running theme and spirit of the policies adopted by the Chinese government, and it is the banner that we will always hold high.”
But innovation in a vacuum is meaningless, and Premier Li recognizes this. “We live in a global village” said Li. “No country can live in isolation of others like Robinson Crusoe.” Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to global value chains (GVC). Value chains are now the ties that bind countries together and bring public and private innovation to the world.
Continue reading "Holding the banner high: Innovation, value chains, and competitiveness in a new era of global growth" »
As I work with Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) at leading companies around the world, I am seeing talent challenges boiling to the surface, and HR is under pressure.
Earlier this year Deloitte’s Global Human Capital consulting group conducted a global survey of 1,300 executives in 59 countries to rank the most relevant human capital trends facing their organizations; we were a bit surprised to find that the issues they face -- regardless of country or industry -- are very similar. The Human Capital Trends 2013 report Resetting Horizons details 13 trends which HR and business leaders need to place front and center as they shift their focus beyond the recession to the new growth opportunities ahead. The list of critical current and emerging trends includes both areas where HR needs to do new things – exploration-- and areas where HR needs to do thing better -- execution.
Not surprisingly, given the changes afoot, leadership pipelines and readiness is the top concern: 84 percent of global business and HR executives reported they must look for creative ways to develop new leaders as traditional leadership models are not keeping pace with today’s rapidly changing business and work environment.
Continue reading "Running in the red in 2013: HR leaders under pressure" »
It is one of the enduring paradoxes of working life: Advancing women in business life seems common-sense but in practice appears to flounder and not make the headway we all expect. The reasons for this were a topic of discussion at the recent OECD Gender Forum – Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now, where I joined a distinguished group of participants, including government and business leaders. It was clear from our discussion that challenges remain.
Take diversity for example. Deloitte Australia has recently carried out ground-breaking research (“Waiter, is that inclusion in my soup?”) in the manufacturing, retail, and healthcare sectors. When modelling the relationship among diversity, inclusion and business performance, the research found that when both diversity and inclusion were high, there was an uplift of some 80 percent in perceptions of business performance. Buoyed by these results, the research was widened to include customer service, innovation and engagement. And the same thing happened: Perceptions of business outcomes are always significantly higher with high diversity and high inclusion. Another finding was that where employees perceive their organization is committed to and supportive of diversity, and where employees feel included, they are 80 percent more likely to believe they work in a high-performing organisation.
Continue reading "Making a genuine gender difference" »
I have the honor to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos as one of the five representatives from Deloitte this again year. Deloitte LLP, the U.S. member firm, was the first professional firm that launched an initiative for the retention and advancement of women in the United States. Started in 1993, the Women’s Initiative changed the firm culture to retain and advance female professionals with leaders’ solid commitment.
Within 20 years, the U.S. firm achieved quite a number of goals: closing the gender gap in retention and promotion (female partner ratio from 7% to 23% and female board member from 1% to 30%). This was, of course, a turbulent journey, but does prove that we can make it happen if we believe in it.
Continue reading "Bringing female perspectives in the boardroom – Challenges in Japan" »
I had the privilege of speaking a few weeks back at the Australian Industry Group National Forum, the premier industry event which is held annually at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. More than 350 CEOs, senior executives, and government officials listened to an array of local and international speakers address some of the major issues and big ideas on Australia’s national agenda together with strategies to improve the industry competitiveness. It was quite an honor to be invited to participate in this session.
During my presentation, which was featured in ABC TV’s The Business program (see video clip) I shared perspectives of how innovation is at the heart of what some are calling a “Manufacturing Renaissance” or an industry revival. Often overlooked as a place for innovation, manufacturing continues to be on the leading edge of innovation. You just have to look at the bold innovation plays that are happening today in areas such as advanced materials systems, additive manufacturing, and sustainable mobility.
Continue reading "Can innovation be underpinning a Manufacturing Renaissance?" »
Simon Holland, Global Head of Strategic Change & Organizational Transformation, looks at how perceptions of leadership influence stock market analysts
Want a premium rating from financial analysts? Don’t just focus on the bottom line. Think about sustainable leadership
- “A company should not only seek short-term profit, but should always have long-term vision and seek to contribute to society.”
- "I look for senior managers who work collectively well—teams rather than superheroes.”
- "There are many different types of leader, and I wouldn’t ascribe any one trait over another … If I had to name just one, I would say the ability to recognize their own weaknesses and supplement those with other people … Building up the senior leadership team’s confidence allows the strategy to be implemented effectively, and improves the execution.”
- “I don’t view financial performance as that important because I think it is only a result.”
Continue reading "Share and share unalike" »
A couple of weeks ago, I took an interesting trip to Chennai, India. In advance of my trip, one of my clients pointed out that if you drew a straight line through the center of the earth departing from my home city of Milwaukee in the United States, to the other end of the earth – some 8,500 miles away – it would take you to Chennai. So it goes to say that it was certainly a long airplane ride.
In preparing for my first trip to Chennai, I learned that the city is actually known as the Detroit of Asia. A number of global automobile manufacturers (OEMs and suppliers) have set up operations there to serve the domestic market and also use it as an export base given the fact that Chennai is the second largest port in India. As a result, Chennai has become a significant manufacturing hub for India. Complementing this manufacturing focus, the city is also known for its extensive engineering and technology talent. As I met with a number of executives it was apparent that an increasing number of manufacturers are relying on the engineering talent in Chennai to design the products produced there.
Continue reading "An 8,500 mile journey to the other side of the world " »