On Jun. 5th, Martin Reeves, Senior Partner and Managing Director of BCG and Director of the BCG Henderson Institute, addressed Tsinghua PBCSF Financiers Forum for a second time. The title of his speech is “Corporate Strategy under Uncertain Times”.
Reeves pointed out that global economic slowdown stands at the
forefront of the manifold challenges facing corporate strategy makers. Growth and
innovation are two major challenges for large-scale companies with increasing
complexities. When human life span is extending, business’ death rate is on the
increase. For instance, the life span of listed American companies is 37 years.
It’s an issue worth thinking about how a company can survive with its
adaptability and competitiveness accordingly.
Mr. Reeves further stressed that it may take only one to two years for a startup to overcome big companies. Nearly two-thirds of enterprises experienced failure in disruptive innovation which poses great challenges to an enterprise’s adaptability.
Through a study on 14 industries, BCG summarized the factors of corporate sustainability: self-disruption amid changes, innovative adjustments, abundant supporting resources, smart financing, and active investor management.
Mr. Reeves further explained proactive reform and passive reform: proactive reform means a company conducts self-reform ahead of their competitors or before any decline in financial performance occurs; passive reform, on the other hand, means transition does not start until the company’s performance slides down below industry average. In America, near 75% companies failed during the process of transition, which proves the importance of proactive reform. Instead of taking things as they are, a company should always act with a sense of pressure.
Mr. Reeves found that a company would earn most if it pursues the wellbeing of employees. The company should also emphasis on social responsibilities, and take the whole social system into consideration in company operation, which will in return brings a better reputation for the company.
Mr. Reeves believes that, though everything develops very fast in the digital age, some changes take a longer time, such as regulatory reform, trust building, and societal changes. It is imperative that we adapt to both rapid development and slow changes.
At the Q&A session, Mr. Reeves expanded on doing business in the US and SME strategy.
Mr. Reeves leads the BCG Henderson Institute worldwide. He is also a member of the Institute’s Innovation Sounding Board, a member of BCG’s Strategy practice leadership team, and a senior member of the Health Care practice.
Reeves focuses his research on the future of strategy. He is the co-author of Your Strategy Needs a Strategy. Prior to joining BCG, he worked for Zeneca in Japan and the UK, where he was
mainly responsible for marketing and strategic planning.
The event was co-organized by Tsinghua PBCSF and National Institute of Financial Research, Tsinghua University. With Tsinghua PBCSF’s advantages in domestic financial education, Tsinghua PBCSF Financiers Forum aims to provide a high-profile and open-ended platform for industry leaders and famed scholars to share their experience and insights through discussions on financial policies and hot topics.