Firms advised to build resilience, sophistication into strategy
Updated 21:28, 31-Jan-2019
By CGTN Global Business

As 2019 shapes up to bring even more uncertainties and complexities, how should companies strategize? Global Managing Partner of Bain, Manny Maceda, says no one is immune to the trend and companies should build new resilience and sophistication into their strategic processes.

Multilateralism vs Nationalism

The world has seen a return to nationalism since the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. By shifting American politics in a more inward direction, Trump has also changed the tone of politics everywhere. Maceda indicates that the business community has also felt the pinch and companies are bracing for more turbulence ahead.

“I think they are all taking it into account….it affects everybody," he said. "For example, I'm currently working at our San Francisco office. Three years ago, when we have applicants who want to join our office, we did not even look at their citizenship. We get the best person from the Philippines, China, New York or Bay area. After we selected them, we give them the offer, we can figure out how to get them a visa. You can't make that assumption any more….we have to hire Americans in America, Chinese in China …" 

VCG Photo

VCG Photo

How does Bain help its clients rise above those uncertainties?

“A part of being a good strategist, the core capabilities are still to provide our clients with the best strategic advice. You have to see all forces that affect the business system. You have to recognize global factors that could influence everything, from your supply chain, your customer needs, your ability to place your workforce in different parts of the world,” Maceda explained.

“After that, you can get more sophisticated in your strategy and your strategic building. They include scenario planning, contingencies, recognizing strategic flexibility. It used to be a simpler world in strategy." 

A new strategy for global expansion

Despite the outlook that plenty can go wrong for the global economy in the year ahead, many companies are determined to grow their business.

For them, Maceda suggested that “whether it is a Chinese firm or an American company, you have to take global forces into account as you come up with a strategy. You have to invest more in understanding, helping to build a regulatory framework, picking the right partners…in reality, there is no global regulatory regime. 

"We have global platforms like the World Economic Forum to facilitate better dialogue, but generally you have to understand, country by country, by yourself. That is one of the challenges. So any company that is playing a global game has to build that resilience, sophistication into their strategic processes.”