A few months ago, after Summer Davos, I wrote and spoke about China’s new commitment to innovation. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in his opening address had talked of holding the banner of innovation high and the reforms his government were proposing to achieve that goal. I stated at the time that I was cautiously optimistic about the potential these reforms held.
Just recently, I again had the chance to discuss China and innovation, this time on a panel hosted by the Asia Society in New York City. With the session focused on China’s growing investment in U.S. high-tech companies, inevitably the question of innovation came up—and if these Chinese companies were looking to U.S. acquisitions to help build a culture of innovation at home. Innovation remains a challenge in China, with issues from lax enforcement of intellectual property laws to the difficulty of starting a business contributing factors. Moreover, questions have been raised about whether China’s educational system encourages the kind of creative thinking that generates innovation.
Continue reading "Cautiously optimistic: Innovation and Chinese FDI " »
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" »
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" »
Last month, I had the opportunity to spend a week with many Deloitte clients and colleagues in Southeast Asia (SEA). While there were many highlights, one of them certainly was my first visit to Bangkok. We started the week with a series of meetings with manufacturing executives in Bangkok which helped me to gain a better perspective on this important manufacturing economy. A few key facts about the manufacturing industry in Thailand that may interest you:
Continue reading "An interesting week in Southeast Asia" »
I returned from another interesting week in Brazil and with each visit I find that I get a better glimpse of the dynamic changes happening in this market. This was my second visit in the past six months, and given the deep and ongoing interest by manufacturing companies, it certainly seems to be a place that deserves increasing attention.
During this most recent trip, I had the opportunity to meet with several senior executives at top Brazilian and multinational companies. It was fascinating to receive firsthand accounts from these manufacturing leaders on both the strengths and challenges of the current business environment in Brazil and their outlook on prospects for the future. Not surprisingly, despite the diverse manufacturing sectors these leaders represented, their insights had very common themes.
Continue reading "Insights on Brazil" »
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" »