The article below from McKinsey discusses some issues around business futures, but like all others fails to mention the need to ‘keep ahead of the oil curve’.
That only the businesses that do will survive in a resource constrained world, by identifying the products and services that will form part of our low carbon future. Then working to continually reduce their ‘resource intensity’. Their quality in conventional terms.
In ‘Environmental Mangagement, New Directions for the 21st Century, Wilson and Bryant, UCL Press, page 7, they give a definition of Environmental Management, which can be paraphrased in the context of Leadership through uncertainty.
Leadership though uncertainty requires a multi-layered approach involving interaction with state and non-state partners and the resource constrained environment. Strategic leaders are those who see their futures are dependent on the application of creativity and skill in the active and self-conscious, manipulation of resources to reduce their intensity in use, with the aim of enhancing predictability in a context of economic, social and environmental uncertainty.
Leading through uncertainty
The future of capitalism is here, and it’s not what any of us expected. With breathtaking speed, in the autumn of 2008 the credit markets ceased functioning normally, governments around the world began nationalizing financial systems and considering bailouts of other troubled industries, and major independent US investment banks disappeared or became bank holding companies. Meanwhile, currency values, as well as oil and other commodity prices, lurched wildly, while housing prices in Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere continued to slide.
As consumers batten down the hatches and the global economy slows, senior executives confront a more profoundly uncertain business environment than most of them have ever faced. Uncertainty surrounds not only the downturn’s depth and duration—though these are decidedly big unknowns—but also the very future of a global economic order…………………..
What we don’t know
Yet there is much that we don’t know, and won’t for some time: how well will governments work together to develop effective regulatory, trade, fiscal, and monetary policies; what will these responses mean for the long-term health of the global capital market; how will its health or weakness influence the pace and extent of change in areas such as the economic role of government, financial leverage, and business models; and what will all this imply for globalization and economic growth?
Although these questions won’t be answered in the short or even the medium term, decisions made in the immediate future are critical, for they will influence how well organizations manage themselves now and compete over the longer haul. The winners will be companies that make thoughtful choices—despite the complexity, confusion, and uncertainty—by assessing alternative scenarios honestly, considering their implications, and preparing accordingly……………..