Five Ways Global Business Is Changing

Jordi Canals talks to Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen at IESE in Munich

28/07/2016 Munich

Jordi Canals

Dean Jordi Canals co-addressed a session on the spirit of entrepreneurship at IESE Munich / Photo: Bernhardt Schmidt

Over the past 20 years, the business landscape has metamorphosed.

Established business models are being turned on their heads. Digitization is disrupting everything and volatility challenges long-term goals.

So do we have the strategies in place to keep transforming our businesses and sustain value creation? And what role does responsible entrepreneurship have to play in this?

Addressing these questions in Munich recently were IESE Dean Jordi Canals and CEO at Hubert Burda Media Holding, Dr. Paul-Bernhard Kallen. The IESE Alumni and Friends event was held under Chatham House Rules, to facilitate free and open exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing.

The changing spirit of entrepreneurship was the foremost concept characterizing change under discussion. Panelists agreed that many of today’s leading companies simply did not exist 20 years ago – and many were a result of the Fourth or Digital Industrial Revolution.

Tech Leads Charge

Technology has driven the past 20 years’ transformation. For example, Uber doesn’t own a vehicle, but has the same valuation as Daimler-Benz. And, of the world’s top 10 most valuable companies, five are digital.

As Marc Andreessen famously proclaimed, “software is eating the world.”

This has proved to be the case in publishing, retail, and travel. With auto companies on the stock exchange now fetching a seventh of the price of Internet companies, cars will be next.

Companies have to consider how they evolve to survive. The example of Burda Media Holding was cited. Originally a printing company, they are now a consumer tech and media company, employing as many software engineers as journalists.

Economic Context

While tech is developing at the speed of light, European banking is still in crisis. We have the same banks as before, but with a centralized approach to risk. And there are likely to be disruptions in the sector. Banks should be smaller, more entrepreneurial, and have more equity to stand for their own risks.

New Tech Monopolies

The rise of technology has brought a new brand of business titans with it. Google currently owns 91% of search, 61% of browsing, and 80% of hardware, if you don’t buy Apple. Anyone going into Internet business should be aware of the power of new monopolies that can destroy them in split seconds.

Society Surviving on Information

In today’s business landscape, there is a direct correlation between how much information a company owns and how much they are worth. In G7 countries, 70% of GDP is from services, and most of this relies on data.

While embracing digital revolution opportunities, future leaders need to be wary of the risks posed by our new business landscape.

Checking in With the Four ‘I’s

Canals updated attendees on developments within IESE’s four strategic pillars: internationalization, innovation, ideas and impact.

On the topic of internationalization, Canals insisted that IESE is now “truly a global institution. Today we can organize a program for any company around the world in the most important business locations.”

Additionally, “we still invest in associated schools in emerging parts of the world – Nigeria, Kenya, Peru, and Colombia. We think management and leadership development can be a transformational force in society.”