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Organizational Leadership for the 21st Century: Five Global Trends to Drive the Future Economy & Business

Updated on August 21, 2010

Leading a business or organization in 2010 and beyond is not an easy task. The age of globalization and the rise in information and communication technologies has brought competition from unexpected sources. One resource for gaining wisdom about business in this complex climate is the McKinsey Quarterly.

The McKinsey Quarterly is one of the top online consulting publications. They perform research in every sector and sub-sector related to business and organizations in order to help them understand their business environments and devise strategies for positive growth and profitability. Along with Knowledge Wharton, the McKinsey Quarterly can be a powerful resource for organizational leaders who want to increase their capacity to guide their respective organizations in the 21st century global and domestic business environments.

In 2010, the people at The McKinsey Quarterly took another look at the developing global business environment and discerned five trends that will drive markets and industries in the second decade of the 1st century and beyond.

Emerging market industries will contribute more growth than developed ones

According to the staff at The McKinsey Quarterly, the coming decade will be the first in 200 years when emerging-market countries will outpace developed ones in terms of growth. This growth will not only generate a wave of new middle-class consumers but also drive profound innovations in product design, market infrastructure, and value chains.

Developed economies will need to accelerate productivity to power growth

With the incessant rapid development of emerging markets comes increased competition from previously unrecognized sources. To keep their edge in the global economy, developed-world economies will need to generate significant gains in productivity to power continued economic growth. The most dramatic innovations in the Western world are likely to be those that accelerate economic productivity.

Further expansion of globalization calling for new business models

The global economy is growing ever more connected. Complex flows of capital, goods, information, and people are creating an interlinked network that spans geographies, social groups, and economies in ways that permit large-scale interactions at any moment. This expanding grid is seeding new business models and accelerating the pace of innovation. It also makes destabilizing cycles of volatility more likely.

Innovations in clean-tech technologies toward environmental protection

Each nation-state’s ability to compete in the global economy is directly tied to its access to energy. As more developing nations increase their capacity to produce goods, the greater the strain on the world’s limited natural resources. A collision is shaping up among the rising demand for resources, constrained supplies, and changing social attitudes toward environmental protection. According to those at the McKinsey Quarterly, the second decade of the 21st century will see an increased focus on resource productivity, the emergence of substantial clean-tech industries, and regulatory initiatives.

Growing complexities in governing the market state

Even old totalitarian regimes are reorganizing and transforming to market states i.e. nations governed on the basis of market driven economies. The often contradictory demands of driving economic growth and providing the necessary safety nets to maintain social stability have put governments under extraordinary pressure. Globalization applies additional heat: how will distinctly national entities govern in an increasingly globalized world?


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    • Georzetta profile image

      Georzetta Ratcliffe 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I tend to think that the business world is separate from me but I know it's not. You've given me a lot to think about.

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

      Thankyou Lilly and Pamela for your encouraging comments. No doubt the world as we know it and have enjoyed it as a relatively properous nation is presenting huge challenges for sustained growth. It takes a wise business person to keep his enterprise from collapsing into oblivion.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Things are definitely changing. It is not surprising that companies are having to adapt to the new changes. Very well written hub.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Oh yeah, we are moving into a different economic sphere, and those who do not change will be left behind. Business will not continue as it always has. Great Hub! Thank you.