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Trends & Global Forces

We help clients understand, anticipate, and act decisively to capture opportunities created by the trends and forces shaping the global economy.

We hear about the challenges of understanding the nature and direction of global forces and trends every day in our conversations with business leaders:

How long can their traditional sources of competitive advantage survive in the face of technological shifts?

How will changing consumer and societal expectations affect their business models?

What does it mean to be a global company when the benefits of international integration are under intense scrutiny?

These are all good questions. But they should not distract from the extraordinary opportunities available to leaders who understand the changes underway and convert them into positive momentum for their businesses.

We help leaders spot those opportunities, question their core assumptions, imagine remote possibilities, and rethink where and how they compete.

Featured experts

Ezra Greenberg

Partner, Stamford

Erik Roth

Senior Partner, Stamford

Sven Smit

Senior Partner, Chair of Insights and Ecosystems, and Chair of McKinsey Global Institute, Amsterdam

A company benefitting from industry and geographic tailwinds is 4 to 8 times more likely to rise to the top of economic profit performance charts than one facing headwinds.

Checking in on your strategic context

New work by McKinsey shines a spotlight on nine global forces that demand bold responses and contain the seeds of significant opportunity. Significant tension runs through each of them, so much so that we’d characterize them as “crucibles,” or spaces in which concentrated forces interact. Collectively, they are reshaping the context in which leaders set strategy. More specifically, these forces are contributing to global growth shifts, accelerating industry disruption, and shaking the social fabric—thereby creating the need for a new societal deal.

Leaders can convert complexity into opportunity by rethinking their strategies in the context of these forces. That’s likely to mean questioning core assumptions and imagining remote possibilities. Those who do won’t just compete more effectively, they’ll be better able to contribute to broader solutions, and ultimately to a new and more inclusive narrative of progress.

Have you read the latest research on Trends and Global Forces?

Featured capabilities

A curated view of global trends

For trends to impact business decisions they must have demonstrable financial impact and direct influence on the behavior of consumers, governments and businesses. The breadth of this impact must span geographies and industries. Finally, it must be clear how a trend’s impact will manifest itself in an actionable business planning horizon. With these criteria in mind, our Global Forces team developed a curated list of 75 global trends that we believe will critically shape your business decisions over the next 5 to 10 years.

Form your perspective: On the global forces inspiring a new narrative of progress

Invite a member of our team to present an overview of the global forces shaping your strategic context to your senior management team or board of directors.

The Collisions Approach

The Collisions Approach is a systematic way for you to capture trends in your strategy. It is a creative process that enables your leadership team to rapidly combine multiple trends, facts, and perspectives to identify the “market-shaping force” that have the power to significantly shift spending and profit pools. These forces form the basis for you to pinpoint new investment opportunities, mitigate risks, stress-test an existing strategy, or craft a new strategic direction.

Strategy Analytics Center

Our Strategy Analytics Center (STAC) helps leaders make sense of internal and external data on corporate performance, macroeconomic changes, and global and local trends so that executives can develop more robust strategies for creating value, identifying business opportunities, and pursuing growth.

Connect with our Trends & Global Forces team