Anders Fæste, Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group writes about the three factors that will determine whether companies succeed or fail in the 2020s.

Photo: BCG
28-11-19 DI Business News

Three things crucial for success in the 2020s

Companies must focus on gender diversity and hire employees of various nationalities and with various educational backgrounds. Social value, imagination and diversity will determine whether companies are successful in the 2020s, writes Anders Fæste, Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group in an op-ed.

A new geopolitical agenda, demographic shifts, climate change and technological development. Soon we will be entering a new decade, and we’ve already been given a taste of what to expect in the 2020s:

Accelerating change and uncertainty on all fronts.

This puts pressure on companies, who will truly have to fight to survive - and win - in the next decade. At the top of all business leaders’ agendas is the question of how to be successful in the 2020s. We in the Boston Consulting Group have attempted to answer that question in a new report.

The conclusion is that technology will radically change the way in which humans and machines work together. It will turn operations and traditional competitive parameters such as cost, quality and competence on their head.

The report identifies new yardsticks of success that will be decisive for companies’ survival. On the basis of these, we can offer three essential recommendations for Nordic business leaders:

1. Compete in imagination, ideas and innovation

The speed of change has been turned up so high that companies must rethink their entire business - from organisational structures to their products, services and internal processes. This requires that companies make room for imagination and give employees the time that is necessary for inspiration and ideas. Companies must also embrace new technology and combine human and artificial intelligence to unlock a whole new power to innovate.

2. Embrace diversity in teams

Countless studies show that diversity drives value creation, growth and innovation. It’s clear that companies with a diverse and inclusive culture perform better than those without. Diverse teams are more creative and better at implementing change. This is an area where Denmark still has a long way to go. Contrary to popular perception, Denmark is lagging far behind when it comes to achieving gender balance. Companies must therefore focus on gender diversity and hire employees of various nationalities and with various educational backgrounds.

3. Create both commercial and social value

Sustainability and social responsibility will become far more important items on a business leader’s agenda. Companies must focus not only on short-term financial results but also on creating positive impact and value in society. This is increasingly a demand from investors, employees and society at large. Meanwhile, focus on social value also contributes to performance, value creation and growth. Nordic companies are already leaders in this area but can no longer keep it separate from their business.

All in all, we are entering a whole new playing field, and it will be those who are quickest to learn and adapt to the rules of the game who will be successful.

Read the report here.

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