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10 Global Developments From The Last Decade That Changed The World

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To mark the 10th anniversary of BlueSteps connecting senior executives with leading search firms, we surveyed our database of 60,000 senior executives to find out which global event they think has most affected business over the last decade. Read on to see what the most popular responses were, and what effect BlueSteps members think these developments have had on global business.

What would you add to the list?

1. The 2008 Financial Crisis

  • “The financial crisis was the last in a line of financial bubbles and demonstrated that society has reached a critical threshold whereby the burden of debt has become unsustainable. Quite simply, articles from inside the business pages have become headline news. This will have ramifications for all industry sectors and the challenge will be how to do things differently in the face of personal debt issues, austerity measure, and an aging demographic.”
  • “Businesses are under more regulation and scrutiny and are therefore unwilling to take risks. Governments are increasing taxes, and consumers are left with less disposable income.”
  • “Asset manipulation is more important to the finance world than value creation.”
  • “The US is headed for another financial crisis in 10 years.”
2. Increasing wealth distribution in Emerging Markets
  • “There has been a significant shift in global power, influence, and markets from the developed world to developing and underdeveloped countries.”
  • “The BRIC countries are passing the US, Japan and the Euro zone. This will have a huge impact on both us and our children.”
3. 9/11
  • “The beginning of worldwide turmoil.”
  • “The resulting war on terror led to devastating side effects on international relationships, tension on commodities and eventually international business as a whole.”
  • “My business was more affected by September 11 than by the recent financial crisis.”
  • “It has led to a reallocation of national resources toward the production of greater security. 9/11 had a severe effect on New York City, the airlines industry, and especially the insurance industry. Additionally, it has had a profound effect on how we see the world and how the world sees us. At one time, the United States was viewed as an almost invincible world power, but now our boundaries are in question. We no longer travel securely as an American, rather we are often targets. As for the way we view the world, we now see it along the lines of religious affiliations and beliefs.”
  • “Started the ‘war against terrorism’ in many countries, changed travel behaviour, and changed attitudes globally.”
  • “Sapped the confidence of the nation.”
4. The mass adoption of the internet and the global rise of social media
  • “This enabled a number of new business models and opportunities.”
  • “It changed the way we interact and work, making everyone far more productive and effective.”
  • “Access to information has enabled businesses to innovate on how they serve their customers. This has caused a paradigm shift in how business is conducted today.”
  • “This has fundamentally and permanently disrupted old business models.” Progressive companies are exploiting this by connecting directly to consumers without the expensive infrastructure of a traditional sales force.”
  • “Everyone can be connected and have more choice.”
  • “New worldwide distribution channel with very little cost impact.”
  • “Facilitated globalisation.”
5. The Euro implementation
  • “This has integrated Europe as a single (almost) actor in the World economy.”
6. Increased global reliance on oil
  • “The highly inflated price of oil has severely damaged the global economy.”
7. The Enron scandal and exposure of naivety leading up to it
  • “It was the first of a number of events which exposed the lack of effective oversight and almost encouragement of fraudulent statements of financial position. The subsequent ponzi scheme events have simply confirmed the regulators, and the man in the street's, worse fears.”
8. The Lehman case
  • “There’s now no such thing as ‘too big to fail’.”
9. Changing governance practices
  •  “These have changed the way Boards, CEOs and organisations behave.”
10. The creation of the G20
  • “Recognition of globalization and the changing economic balance of the world.”
These opinions are selected from BlueSteps member feedback, and may not reflect the views of the AESC and BlueSteps.

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