With the release of Future, Inc. in Korean and Chinese, I’ve had the great opportunity to do interviews with Asian business magazines. I find that they ask more interesting, more insightful questions than many of their Western counterparts, so they are often fun interviews. The only problem is, once they are translated, I have NO IDEA what they said.
I just finished an interview with Korea’s KRX Magazine, which covers the Korean stock market and business in general, and I decided to post the whole text in English, so someone can appreciate it.
The most important trend is away from the philosophy of growth at all costs. For years, particularly in the United States, management has followed a typical playbook – get big, quickly, through borrowing money from private venture capital or public offerings. Then, you can go national or international, reaching bigger markets and gaining leverage over vendors and distributors. Once you have leverage over vendors and distributors, you cut costs by firing excess employees and force downward price pressure on the market. With the extra cash from operating expenses, you buy more national or international companies. For around forty years companies have repeated this formula.
The theme here was BIG BIG BIG. The problem with “big” is that it sometimes comes at the expense of “smart.”
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It was a fine time last night with the Washington chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. I enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the people who will be finding and training the next generation of leaders.
Last night we focused on the major challenges that lie ahead. Below are the slides we used as a conversation starter.
Want to discuss more? Have us out for a workshop or panel!
It seems that the fundamentals of the banking industry were unsound, and that ultimately this led to a collapse. It’s a question of structural assumptions – what is underpinning our industry? What might change? When could a tipping point come? These heady questions are often left to us futurist-types, but it seems like this week it would be a good idea for everybody.
For example, I would like to propose a betting pool on when the healthcare industry in America will need/receive its bailout. Between the demographics of the Boom generation’s retirement and the massive wasteful spending of our current system, the now $2 trillion industry has been forecast to increase to $4 trillion by around 2020.
My assumption – which I state here – is that this is structurally unsound. The economy as a whole will crack long before we get to $4 trillion. If we don’t change the structure of the industry, it will require one of those bailouts. What year do you figure it might be? 2015? 2023? 2025?
What about your industry? What assumptions are you using to justify the long-term profitability of your company? This isn’t gloom and doom, things might be great for you. But what’s the structural long-term?
This is a good week to ask those questions. The implications of failing to do so seem quite clear.
This is the official trend blog of Competitive Futures, a management consultancy that provides trend research and analysis for business and government around the world. Here, we update you on interesting trends we see as part of our work for our clients.
For managing partner Eric Garland's new author and speaker blog, please consult and bookmark http://www.ericgarland.co
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