Business is “on the brink of distrust”, declared Edelman’s Barometer earlier this year. It is both telling and alarming that trust in all four institutions – government, media, business and NGOs – has deteriorated in 2017 from 2016.
In ancient China, it’s been said, people paid their doctors retainer fees for staying healthy. If a person got sick, the payments would be suspended until the doctor brought a patient back to health. To a Western healthcare consumer, this approach may seem unorthodox. Yet, each paradigm has its own merit; and, perhaps, the lessons from healthcare can be translated into the lessons of business strategy...
... This isn’t about knowing which big breakthroughs are about to disrupt our economic models or change the way we live, it’s the interplay and layering of these inventions. As policy-makers, business leaders, and engineers brainstorm applications for, say, blockchain technology, reaching comprehensive conclusions will be just as difficult as it would have been to predict that the smartphone might soon be able to outdo a physician in diagnosing an illness...
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced “Facebook’s plan to bring the global community together.” A few months earlier, a Swedish billionaire, László Szombatfalvy, established the Global Challenges Foundation and announced a $5-million-dollar prize to solicit ideas for remodeling global cooperation. The timing couldn’t be more symbolic, as many pundits are alarmed by what they see as an unraveling of the international system, exemplified by Brexit and a surge of anti-establishment political movements...
"When asked about the most influential stakeholders, executives expect government entities and regulators, as well as customers, will have the greatest effect on their companies’ value... Only 11 percent of executives say their companies frequently succeed at shaping government and regulatory decisions"
McKinsey & Company Global Survey on External Affairs, 2016
"The role of corporate diplomacy is twofold: to enhance a company’s general ability to operate internationally and to ensure its success in each particular country with which it is engaged. The general international reputation of a company can be affected by its success or failure in any given country, and likewise a company’s ability effectively to enter newly attractive markets or gracefully exit from suddenly unappealing ones depends on its broader reputation."
Harvard Business Review: Why Your Company Needs a Foreign Policy, 2016