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Executive Take On Business Trends

Here's a Mckinsey Global survey on business trends.

"An executive take on the top business trends : A McKinsey Global Survey".

  • Executives see innovation and the free flow of information as the primary drivers of ever-faster change in the business world, according to a McKinsey survey.
  • Eighty-five percent describe their own business environment as more competitive than it was five years ago, largely because of the improved capabilities of their competitors and growth in the number of low-cost competitors.
  • Executives predict that future profitability will depend most on knowledge and information trends and the forces of lobalization.
  • Executives say that their companies are better prepared to cope with core risks in their own industries than with general threats such as a pandemic or natural disaster.

What I find interesting is their second exhibit, "What fuels competitiveness". The top response from execs was 25% for "Improved Capabilities of Competitors, eg, better knowledge or talent." 

What came to mind were are a couple of quotes from Bill Joy, Sun Micro.   

"No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else. The same might be said of recommendations. No matter who you are, someone you don't know has found the coolest stuff."

So, what gives? Are exces clueless about the talent and knowledge within their organizations or have they not learned how to capture the wisdom of external ones?

On the same exhibit, 5% of execs see, "Rising consumer awareness and activism" as fueling competitiveness. I bet the percentage moves up a lot next year as the concept of the "longtail" catches on as well as user generated content. 

Jeff Jarvis, BussMachine has a great post on, " The age of customerism and producerism". You got to read it and follow the links to Jeff's earlier post on Dell Hell.

"Forget consumerism. We’re not just consumers anymore, as DocSearls has taught me well. We are customers with our money in our fists, spending it wisely and joining together to spend it more wisely. And we are producers who can compete with the companies that thought of us as mere consumers."

One more along similar lines, "Consumers as producers: Disintermediation without a net", Posted by Dion Hinchcliffe."

"Most of you know that I've been tracking closely the inversion of control seemingly being ushered in en masse by the Web.  That the interesting parts of the Web are increasingly contributed by its users directly, or indirectly, apparently establishing that the sheer mass of innovation is in control of the greater Web community rather than by a few centrally controlled outlets. The implications for business seems to be that control over a lot of things is moving from top-down to bottom-up, or at least heading in one particular direction instead of the other."

So, with walled gardens crumbling and competitation increasing, what's an exec to do? One possible solution: use the enterprise edition of what consumers are using to connect and create things.