Facing Up to a Changing World
The Big Picture
Authors: Done, Adrian A.
Date: First Quarter 2012
Tags: future, financial crisis, geopolitics, technology, climate change
How much time do you dedicate to thinking about the big issues that are likely to affect your personal and professional life in the next 20 years? If you're like many busy executives, not much. Yet with a global outlook arguably bleaker today than during the lowest point of the credit crunch, burying your head in the sand is no answer. Surely, it is better to face up to the big global trends looming on the horizon and figure out the best courses of action to take, based on sound evaluation of the underlying facts and in-depth consideration of possible outcomes. In this article, the author identifies 12 global trends that he feels will present considerable hurdles in the coming years. Then, he presents practical tools for plotting the major threats and maximizing the significant opportunities that are likely to have a direct bearing on your -- and your company's -- future wellbeing and prosperity.
Tools and Frameworks:
> "Clarifying the Big Picture" is a two-by-two matrix to help you consider the probability and to what extent each trend could affect you.
> "Formulating an Action Plan" is a table to help you plot your threats, opportunities and actions.
> "Global Trends Clock" is a spider diagram to give you a visual impression of where the main opportunities and threats lie.
Lists examples of a dozen global trends, many of which feature prominently among the core threats identified by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Intelligence Council -- the most senior advisers to the President of the United States on issues of national security -- as well as among the global risks as seen by the World Economic Forum.
Based on research the author conducted for his book, Global Trends: Facing Up to a Changing World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
About the Author:
Adrian A. Done is an associate professor in the Production, Technology and Operations Management Department at IESE.