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Ten Trends - Revisited

29 January 2013

After the 2008 financial crisis, many people wondered if business had changed irrevocably? Others viewed the turmoil as another turn in the business cycle.

In 2009, three global McKinsey employees took up the challenge to “examine the underlying forces that shape the business environment and to look for discontinuities”. They chose 10 major business forces for analysis to see how and if the crisis had affected them and what the implications were for business strategy moving forward.

Their analysis established for them that the overall picture was of “an altered business world”, where “a return to a pre-crisis world” was not possible. Thinking through the trends four years further on, and in the light of continuing financial events, their assessment still appears relatively valid.

The 10 trends: from emerging market growth and corporate social responsibility to government intervention are listed here.

Resources feeling the strain: assessed in 2009 as a steady trend. It would, if anything, be considered an accelerating trend now.

Globalization under fire: decelerating trend in 2009. It’s still a mixed bag when it comes to how people view globalization but you’d probably call it a steady trend now.

Trust in business running out: assessed in 2009 as an accelerating trend. Authentic implementation by business of CSR policy has had its benefits. You’d probably still call it as an accelerating trend.

A bigger role for government: assessed in 2009 as an accelerating trend; four years on, this is still very much the case.

Management as a science: assessed as a steady trend in 2009. If anything, in 2013, it’s more a decelerating trend: allowing human error and gut instinct a place to play.

Shifting consumption patterns: accelerating trend that one would argue is still very much the case.

Asia rising: assessed as a steady trend, the past few years have seen some hiccups in Asian economies but the trend remains a major business influencer.

Industries taking new shape: an accelerating trend, and if insolvency numbers and M&As are anything to go by, is still accelerating.

Innovation marching on: steady trend then and now.
Price stability in question: accelerating trend in 2009 and that’s the way it stays now.

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