CRM Archive

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McKinsey – Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, February 2021

Countries are now able to assess the damage to economic growth wrought in 2020 by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All GEI-surveyed economies went into reverse gear in the early months of the year; only China was able to control the virus sufficiently to come out of 2020 with positive economic growth (+2.3% year-over-year). The US economy experienced a GDP contraction of –3.5%; the eurozone as a whole contracted –5.4% (flash estimate), with contractions of –5.0% in Germany, –8.3% in France, –8.8% in Italy, and –11.0% in Spain. The Russian economy, propelled by energy exports, experienced a milder contraction of –3.1%; Brazil’s contraction is expected to be –4.7% and India’s –7.7%.

Economic activity mirrored the fluctuations in pandemic restrictions: many countries loosened restrictions after midyear and experienced strong third-quarter growth. As the number of COVID-19 cases surged again, measures were reimposed, curtailing growth in the last quarter of the year. China was, of course, the exception, as it had controlled the virus early in the second quarter; by the last quarter, the economy was humming at 6.5% y-o-y growth. To a certain extent, China’s success has radiated outward, with demand from China helping to support global manufacturing and trade. This dynamic was underscored in January and February by some deceleration in global indicators in consequence of the new-year holiday in China.

In the most recent available data, consumer-sentiment indicators were subdued or pessimistic in most surveyed economies; in China, however, consumer confidence strengthened. Retail-sales growth was very strong in the United States (+5.3% month-over-month), aided by individual stimulus payments; in China, retail sales expanded 4.6%; elsewhere, consumer spending retreated or is making slower progress (Exhibit 1).

As measured by global purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), growth in both manufacturing and services eased in January. Among surveyed economies, manufacturing PMIs remain strong. Services PMIs in the United States and Russia experienced strong growth; in China, the indicator slowed in advance of the new-year holiday; for the eurozone and Brazil, contraction is indicated.

World trade volumes now exceed prepandemic levels: as measured by the CPB World Trade Monitor, global volumes increased 0.6% in December 2020 and 1.6% in November; the indicator showed a trade expansion of 11.5% in the third quarter of 2020 and 4.0% in the fourth quarter (after contractions of –2.6% and –11.7% in the first and second quarters, respectively, figures revised). The Container Throughput Index declined slightly to 119 in December (121.1 in November); a seasonal retreat was measured in Chinese ports.

More: https://www.mckinsey.com/

About the authors:The data and analysis in McKinsey’s Global Economics Intelligence are developed by Alan FitzGerald, a director of client capabilities in McKinsey’s New York office; Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, a capabilities and insights specialist, and Vivien Singer, a capabilities and insights expert, both at the Waltham Client Capability Hub; and Sven Smit, a senior partner in the Amsterdam office.

The authors wish to thank Richard Bucci, Samuel Cudre, Debadrita Dhara, Pragun Harjai, Tomasz Mataczynski, Moira Pierce, Jose Maria Quiros, Erik Rong, Maricruz Vargas, and Yifei Liu for their contributions to this article.

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McK: Why business building is the new priority for growth

Business building is the top priority for organic growth at companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and incumbents are launching new businesses with ever greater frequency, according to our new global survey. 1 The findings suggest that companies that prioritize business building tend to grow faster than their peers, respond with greater resilience to volatility and economic shocks, and, as they gain experience building businesses, see more success from it. But not all companies succeed: only 24 percent of new businesses launched in the past ten years are viable large-scale enterprises today.

To shed light on the differences between outperformers and also-rans, our survey included more than 800 company executives across a range of industries, sectors, and geographies. So far as we know, this was the first at-scale research to explore corporate business building. The survey revealed that an impressive 52 percent of executives consider business building a top-three (or higher) priority for growth. We also found that a small set of companies enjoy success rates two times higher than those of high-potential start-ups (24 percent versus 8, respectively). 2 The experience of these companies clarifies the winning approach to launching and scaling new businesses. As more companies adopt these successful practices, a new wave of innovation could arise from not just entrepreneurial efforts but also intrapreneurial ones. That would boost organic growth and improve the prospects of companies looking to jump into the top tier of performance.

The new priority for organic growth.

Even before the pandemic, our own experience indicated that business building had become more important for incumbent companies looking to use innovative business models, products, and services to meet the threats and opportunities of a digitizing world. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated and intensified that trend. In many industries, the pandemic has rewritten rules and upended assumptions, all while diminishing—or threatening to diminish—existing revenue streams. Replacing lost revenues, of course, requires finding new forms of growth. And while M&A remains an essential part of the growth playbook, P/E multiples remain high, and acquisitions can be expensive. Moreover, organic growth often creates greater excess returns to shareholders than dealmaking does, even during more normal times.

We studied four different approaches to organic growth and found that business building was the most effective among them. 3 Some 74 percent of companies that chose business building as their main strategy grew at rates above the average of their industries. Only 58 percent of the companies that prioritized different strategies did. No wonder so many executives ranked business building as a top-three priority for 2020 (Exhibit 1). And these companies are putting their money where their priorities are, allocating, on average, one-third of their organic-growth capital to business building—more than twice as much as the laggards do. The shift to business building isn’t confined to a few sectors or regions. In all those we surveyed, companies give business building pride of place on the corporate agenda (Exhibits 2 and 3).

More: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/

About the authors: Shaun Collins is a consultant in McKinsey’s Boston office, where Upasana Unni is an associate partner; Ralf Dreischmeier is a senior partner in the London office; and Ari Libarikian is a senior partner in the New York office. The authors wish to thank Paige Frank and Anton Kärrman for their contributions to this article.

 

 

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Building a customer-centric B2B organization

Customer experience (CX) is an increasingly important strategic topic in the boardrooms of B2B companies in China and throughout the world. Despite the rapid development of the previous decades, the “growth first” principle of Chinese enterprises sometimes implies customer experience can be sacrificed. But CX leaders, globally and within China, drive higher growth, lower cost, and superior customer satisfaction. In times of crisis, they achieve three-times-higher shareholder returns 1 than laggards.

Start with a vision

A successful transformation starts from the top. Cases within and outside China confirm that the CEO must be in charge to continuously push and unify the organization.

The Chinese steel industry has taken an upturn amid the country’s overcapacity-reduction program, and companies have been enjoying robust price and volume increases. In this article, we consider one Chinese steel manufacturer whose CEO set a clear vision to build a customer-centric organization in order to gain a competitive edge and to keep the organization healthy through future downturns. The company took a series of steps to systematically and holistically shift the entire organization toward customer-centricity.

More: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/

By Hai Ye and Will Enger, Open interactive popup; Case study: Building a customer-centric B2B organization; Open interactive popup, A Chinese steel manufacturer systematically transformed its operations to be customer-centric—and in the process, improved its bottom line.

About the authors: Hai Ye and Will Enger are partners in McKinsey’s Hong Kong office.

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BCG Six Steps to Bridge the Responsible AI Gap

As artificial intelligence assumes a more central role in countless aspects of business and society, so has the need for ensuring its responsible use. AI has dramatically improved financial performance, employee experience, and product and service quality for millions of customers and citizens, but it has also inflicted harm. AI systems have offered lower credit card limits to women than men despite similar financial profiles. Digital ads have demonstrated racial bias in housing and mortgage offers. Users have tricked chatbots into making offensive and racist comments. Algorithms have produced inaccurate diagnoses and recommendations for cancer treatments.

To counter such AI fails, companies have recognized the need to develop and operate AI systems that work in the service of good while achieving transformative business impact—thinking beyond barebones algorithmic fairness and bias in order to identify potential second- and third-order effects on safety, privacy, and society at large. These are all elements of what has become known as Responsible AI.

Companies know they need to develop this capability, and many have already created Responsible AI principles to guide their actions. The big challenge lies in execution. Companies often don’t recognize, or know how to bridge, the gulf between principles and tangible actions—what we call crossing the “Responsible AI Gap.” To help cross the divide, we have distilled our learnings from engagements with multiple organizations into six basic steps that companies can follow.

The Upside of Responsible AI

Concern is growing both inside and outside boardrooms about the ethical risks associated with AI systems. A survey conducted by the Center for the Governance of AI at the University of Oxford showed that 82% of respondents believe that AI should be carefully managed. Two-thirds of internet users surveyed by the Brookings Institution feel that companies should have an AI code of ethics and review board.

Much of this concern has arisen from failures of AI systems that have received widespread media attention. Executives have begun to understand the risks that poorly designed AI systems can create—from costly litigation to financial losses. The reputational damage and employee disengagement that result from public AI lapses can have far-reaching effects.

But companies should not view Responsible AI simply as a risk-avoidance mechanism. Doing so misses the upside potential that companies can realize by pursuing it. In addition to representing an authentic and ethical “True North” to guide initiatives, Responsible AI can generate financial rewards that justify the investment.

A Stronger Bottom Line. Companies that practice Responsible AI—and let their clients and users know they do so—have the potential to increase market share and long-term profitability. Responsible AI can be used to build high-performing systems with more reliable and explainable outcomes. When based on the authentic and ethical strengths of an organization, these outcomes help build greater trust, improve customer loyalty, and ultimately boost revenues. Major companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft, and Google have publicized the robust steps they have taken to implement Responsible AI. And for good reason: people weigh ethics three times more heavily than competence when assessing a company’s trustworthiness, according to Edelman research. Lack of trust carries a heavy financial cost. In the US, BCG research shows that companies lost one-third of revenue from affected customers in the year following a data misuse incident.

Brand Differentiation. Increasingly, companies have grown more focused on staying true to their purpose and their foundational principles. And customers are increasingly making choices to do business with companies whose demonstrated values are aligned with their own. Companies that deliver what BCG calls total societal impact (TSI)—the aggregate of their impact on society—boast higher margins and valuations. Organizations must make sure that their AI initiatives are aligned with what they truly value and the positive impact they seek to make through their purpose. The benefit of focusing strictly on compliance pales in comparison with the value gained from strengthening connections to customers and employees in an increasingly competitive business environment.

Improved Recruiting and Retention. Responsible AI helps attract the elite digital talent that is critical to the success of firms worldwide. In the UK, one in six AI workers has quit his or her job rather than having to play a role in the development of potentially harmful products. That’s more than three times the rate of the technology sector as a whole, according to research from Doteveryone. In addition to inspiring the employees who build and deploy AI, implementing AI systems in a responsible manner can also empower workers across the entire organization. For example, Responsible AI can help ensure that AI systems schedule workers in ways that balance employee and company objectives. By building more sustainable schedules, companies will see employee turnover fall, reducing the costs of hiring and training—over $80 billion annually in the US alone.

More: https://www.bcg.com/

By Steven MillsElias Baltassis, Maximiliano Santinelli, Cathy CarlisiSylvain Duranton, and Andrea Gallego

BCG GAMMA is BCG’s global team dedicated to applying artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to business at leading companies and organizations. The team includes 800-plus data scientists and engineers who apply AI and advanced analytics expertise (e.g., machine learning, deep learning, optimization, simulation, text and image analytics) to build solutions that transform business performance. BCG GAMMA’s approach builds value and competitive advantage at the intersection of data science, technology, people, business expertise, processes and ways of working. For more information, please visit our web page.

Authors: Steven Mills, Partner & Associate Director, Data Science, Washington, DC: Elias Baltassis, Partner & Director, Paris; Maximiliano Santinelli, Associate Director, Data Science, Boston; Cathy Carlisi, Managing Director, BrightHouse, Atlanta; Sylvain Duranton, Managing Director & Senior Partner, Global Leader, BCG GAMMA, Paris, Andrea Gallego, Partner & Chief Technology Officer, BCG GAMMA, Boston

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The Cyber-Organisation and the New World of Work

The Cyber-Organisation and the New World of Work: Advocating a twin governance and collaborative intelligence solution to overcome a constant disruptive business context

By Mario Raich, Simon L. Dolan, Dave Ulrich and Claudio Cisullo

This paper explores the concept of the cyber-organisation and, in particular, the so-called cyber-enterprise and its functionality in a business context that is constantly generating disruption due to rapid technological advances and a shift in the definition of work. The cyber-enterprise is, and will be, operating in this fast-changing context driven by artificial intelligence. We argue that cyber-reality will change the fundamental roles of all stakeholders, be they employees, suppliers, customers, investors, partners, associations or governmental agencies, and will require corresponding changes in the governing bodies of organisations. Today, we are living in a world in transition and transformation(1). There are three powerful converging megatrends that may explain the shaping of the new world of work: globalisation, digitalisation and creation / destruction. Add to this the rise in cyber-reality, artificial intelligence (AI), global connectivity, as well as hybrid reality, hybrid work and business entity, and, finally, new, disruptive technologies like quantum computing, blockchain, neurotech and robotics, and you will understand that a new form of cyber-organisation is emerging. It is not a luxury; it is a vital necessity in order to survive and sustain business. We propose a new structure of twin boards to deal with this new business environment strategically and operationally.

Beyond contexts related to business, we are also facing global challenges threatening our sheer existence: demographics and global migration; environmental deterioration through global pollution; climate change; asymmetric conflicts and wars. Other contributing factors that are shaping, or will shape, the cyber-enterprise include the emerging new “Intelligent Internet” (including the Internet of Things), combined with machine learning, mobile technology and new technologies encompassing people, artefacts and cyber-entities (CE)1, which is on the way to becoming the first autonomous cyber-entity existing and acting in hybrid reality.

Beyond digital reality, a new, much-more-potent and disruptive revolution is surfacing: cyber-reality (CR). Cyber-reality is a powerful configuration of elements from digital reality, augmented reality and virtual reality. Together with artificial intelligence (AI), it will lead to a far more radical transformation than anything we have seen before. In fact, digitalisation is just one step, albeit a necessary one, in the transition towards virtual reality (VR). The progress of VR is tightly linked to the development of computer technology and artificial intelligence.

More: https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com