Friday, February 17, 2006

Globalization: Coming to a Town Near You

Two weeks ago I attended an internal meeting in Orlando discussing globalization. If I had to summarize the two and half days I spent it would go something like this - Globalization is bringing about new rivals, new technologies and new regulations. These changes often begin as weak signals at the periphery, so the trick is how do you pick up these weak signals and act on them ahead of everyone else? Part of the trick is knowing the facts, which begins with canvassing the global landscape and bringing together multiple data points to form a realistic picture of the global business environment— whats changed, and what is changing. Honing your ability to cut through a world of information overload and uncertainty in other words, foresight will be among the most important requirements for the tasks ahead. While I can't share with you the specifics of what was said, I thought these statistics below would be of some value and interest.
  • The world economy is projected to be about 80 percent larger in 2020 than it was in 2000 and average per capita income to be roughly 50 percent higher
  • By 2010, 90 percent of all Ph.D. Physical Scientists and Engineers will be Asians living in Asia
  • To sustain current levels of economic growth, China needs to generate 10 million jobs every year
  • Thirty years ago, the ratio of managers to administrative jobs was 1 to 6.88. Because of automation, that ratio today is nearly 1 to 1
  • A typical large business in 2010 will have fewer than half the management levels of
    its counterpart in 1990, and about one-third the number of managers
  • Over the last 10 years, the number of Japanese companies on the Global Fortune 500 dropped from 149 to 82, while the number of Chinese companies rose from 3 to 16

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