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‘The Shape of Business – The Next 10 years’ | CBI

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have issued this paper. It is a short but useful discussion on what business ought to consider in the UK, but my reading suggests most western economies. It touches on the main categories of concern of business, people issues, environmental, partnerships, supply chain and technology

Here is an excerpt from the Table of Contents, followed by the conclusion.

Download: The shape of business – the next ten years (PDF 2MB) | CBI

The Changing Business Environment

  1. Changing finance and capital conditions
  2. The decline of trust in business and markets
  3. A less benign macroeconomic environment
  4. Social and demographic change
  5. Sustainability and resource issues
  6. Technology trends

The Business Response

  1. Capital and investment
  2. Workforce
  3. Organisation and location
  4. Governance and sustainability

The next decade will be one of fundamental change for businesses in the UK and the actions business takes will begin to have a significant impact on the shape of the UK economy.

In ten years time, businesses will typically be involved in a range of collaborations, partnerships and joint ventures, supporting investment finance, R&D and innovation, training and new organisational structures. There will be much more rigour in identifying investment and innovation projects for funding and businesses will have outsourced the next level of activities, including many specialist tasks. The workforce will be more diverse, highly flexible and mobile, making the most of new ways of working and using more business-relevant professional skills. This will leave organisations focused on a smaller core of people and projects, supported by a much wider range of individuals and businesses around the periphery. Building and maintaining trust with business partners and the public will become critical to the smooth operation of these structures, and compliance with governance and sustainability standards will be a major objective. Effective management will be the key determinant of survival and success.

These changes will have a range of implications for the UK economy, which have been highlighted in the previous section. Taken together, we identify the following as the main areas of concern and opportunity:

  • In the short term, the UK will see slower (but more sustainable) growth and a longer climb out of recession, with elevated unemployment for an extended period, and the socio-economic consequences this will bring
  • An increased number of burdens coalescing on business at the same time will increase business costs, reducing profits and tax revenues
  • Until new systems of governance, collaboration, risk management and SME financing come into place, and start to work effectively, businesses are likely to miss opportunities for more radical innovation and the UK may fall behind some of
  • its competitors
  • But, by the middle of our five to ten-year time frame, these same systems will make the UK more productive and competitive and our expertise in implementation will be valuable in its own right
  • New business structures, new ways of working and new relationships with employees will make businesses even more flexible and this will enhance what is already our most important competitive advantage
  • Towards the end of the decade, some key aspects of the UK economy may ultimately fall under the control of overseas governments, and as market opportunities shift, current prominent businesses in both services and manufacturing may move substantially overseas.

Written by Colin Henderson

November 23, 2009 at 22:21

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