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WindsofChange

For a transformational 2017, five key ingredients need to be closely monitored and navigated in building a successful global business formula.

Geopolitical Risks Ahead

"Dawn of a new age. Populism rules. Status quo - R.I.P." - Australian investment bank Macquarie

A family argument throughout the 2016 USA presidential election was my prediction of a Donald Trump win. As with Brexit, too many pundits were taking for granted the underlying disruption of an increasingly number of people questioning the world order.

"Brexit teaches us many things about our society and about societies around the world. It highlights in ways that we seem embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are... Contemporary politics is no longer about right or left. It's no longer about tax and spend. It's about globalization. The fault line of contemporary politics is between those that embrace globalization and those that fear globalization."

"Trump's (USA) victory must be viewed as part of a global wave to immigration, trade and globalization. Donald has been calling himself "Mr. Brexit" in his stump speech for a while, drawing heavy parallels between the British vote to exit the European Union and his own campaign. Elites in Europe thought it was inconceivable that Brexit would happen - until it did."

France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands all have key elections coming up in the next year and could potentially join this disruptive wave. Just below the surface are Scotland, Catalonia, and California thinking that their future might be brighter as independent countries.

Geopolitical risks remain for the next 12 months. The intersection of global business initiatives with national populism will be murkier and must be carefully navigated by brands for future success.

Need for Technology Speed

"Today's is the slowest day of technology change for the rest of your life." - Jim Carroll

A favorite chart that I use worldwide on the pace of technology changes is below.

TechAdoption

Key messages from above:

  • It took 47 years for electricity to reach 25% penetration of the USA population; radio 31 years; mobile phones 13 years; the World Wide Web 7 years; and Facebook was down to 2 years. Each new disruptive technology is finding its expanded audience faster.
  • The aggressive global growth of mobility is expanding the audience quickly outside national borders. By 2017, mobile broadband will be available to 5.1 billion people; all of them generating lots of data (11.2 Exabytes per month) which increasingly will be video.
  • The Internet of Things means the nodes generating data will continuously increase. By 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet.

Technology is a key disruptor of both business and as seen in the USA national election of geopolitics. "At least four million election-related tweets were sent during the (USA) campaign, posted by more than 400,000 bots." More technology speed is the new reality.

Is the Data Economy the New Oil?

"Every single industry is going through a major business model and technology oriented disruption." - Aaron Levie

Consider the following:

  • Uber - The world's largest taxi company owns no vehicles.
  • Facebook - The world's most popular media owner, creates no content.
  • Alibaba - The most valuable retailer, has no inventory.
  • Airbnb - The world's largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.

The new mantra to business model innovation is to "take the stodgiest, oldest, slowest moving industry you can find. And build amazing software for it." Connected global technologies open up endless possibilities in re-inventing existing business models, creating new ones, and converging new businesses across industries.

"In the end, data isn't the new oil. It has always been, and will always be, vastly more powerful." Continuous value added data intelligence is the future successful business model.

Welcome to a transformational 2017 with the first three ingredients of the future success recipe - navigating geopolitical risks, an ever faster new technology pace, and innovative data economy business models.

The other two ingredients will be unveiled next week. For now adjust your business sail and confidently cruise through these first three winds of change.

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