A multi-polar & multi-players world
The world is more multi-polar and multi-payers than ever, and traditional frameworks no longer apply.
In a context of economic and geopolitical upheavals, climate urgency with its consequences on access and sharing of resources, as well as the occupation of spaces, rapid societal changes (especially the role of social networks), companies must build a systemic analysis of risks and opportunities related to their strategic issues to demonstrate and maintain their license to operate.
The analysis of strategic issues encompasses a wide range of subjects that are interconnected: challenges related to sustainable development, security risks, political and geopolitical risks, regulatory risks, etc.
The scale of the ongoing changes at global level is unprecedented and requires both states and companies to be flexible and resilient. What was once considered impossible is now happening: the return of war in Europe, accelerated climate change, global food crisis, strong geopolitical tensions everywhere in the world, etc.
Rethinking the geopolitical role of companies
In this context, companies must now think more geopolitically, but also be more proactive or even reactive. They must be able to make connections between the multiplicity of issues and realities in different regions of the world.
This requires breaking down the “silo” system and making the different layers of the company work and think together: procurement, finance, sustainable development, human rights, etc..
It also involves moving away from a self-centered thinking towards listening more and better to the rest of the world and the expected changes.
In fact, companies have a strong footprint in many areas and must therefore have a true “foreign policy,” similar to what states do. These policies should reflect their sustainability strategies and their international development issues, and allow them to define the overarching principles governing their actions wherever they are present.
More broadly, companies must ultimately rethink their usefulness in light of the analysis of these strategic issues and the expectations of Society.
“The Taboo Breaking Decisions”
This evolution also implies a breakdown in the way of thinking and acting. Companies must start doing things they have never done before and test solutions never considered.
They must also find a balance between crisis management, which will remain permanent, and long-term strategic thinking on climate, energy, technology, human resources, etc.