It’s hard to argue with the assertion that an understanding of such forces would be a major advantage for businesses that are looking not only to avoid disaster but to achieve high growth.
The article has wisely been placed in the open so there’s no need to sign up just to read it. They’re looking for feedback to help them refine their ideas, but do they really have a good starting point? McKinsey is not a company that SME and microbusinesses hire: their consultants typically concern themselves with the major corporations – the ones that for all their size only employ one or two per cent of the working population.
I’d be interested to know what my contacts think they may have missed. Here, in no particular order, are a few factors that I would have thought may have been worth (more of) a mention:
- The political and economic instability of Europe
- The threat of radical Islam
- The increasing scarcity not only of oil for energy but also rare earth elements (for alternative energy sources) and phosphates (for agriculture)
- The threat to science from a new age of unreason (Dawkins’s Enemies of Reason, q.v.)
- Demographic imbalances (e.g. the tendency of the have-nots to breed far faster than the haves)
- The increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people
- That in a finite world, it’s not sensible to assume the possibility of never-ending growth in the world’s economies.
Some of the above are mentioned, if only obliquely. I would argue that some deserve much greater emphasis. What’s your opinion?