Global forces shaping the future of business and society

McKinsey’s managing director, Dominic Barton, and other partners discuss global trends and the ways companies can act on them.

Today’s biggest business challenge involves knowing how to respond to a world in which the frame and basis of competition are always changing. Against that backdrop, any effort to set corporate strategy must consider more than just traditional performance measures, such as a company’s core capabilities and the structure of the industry in which it competes. Managers must also gain an understanding of deep external forces and the narrower trends that they can unleash.

Video

In a major research effort, McKinsey identified five global forces whose impact—individually and in confluence with other trends—is rewriting the list of opportunities and challenges facing global business. They include the rise of emerging markets as centers of consumerism and innovation; the imperative to improve developed-market productivity; ever-expanding global networks; the tension between rapidly rising resource consumption and sustainability; and the increasingly larger role of the state as a business regulator and partner.

In this video, the latest installment of our ongoing examination of these global forces, McKinsey experts pinpoint the effects of trends, explore their makeup, and detail the actions that companies can take to make the most of the opportunities the trends carry along with them.

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