Browse PwC's View

This periodical offers PwC’s thoughts on salient issues facing business leaders today, from innovation, to productivity, to cybercrime, to globalization and many more. You can also explore all of PwC's publications covering current business issues and industry trends.

Strategy and growth

View issue 15

In this issue of PwC's View, companies can learn how to keep pace with change, and design a fiercest competitor as part of the strategy. Other articles look at cyber security and doing business in emerging markets.

Strategy and growth

Embracing a new dynamic: Foresight and risk taking in a changing global marketplace

Bob Moritz's insights of Asian and developed word CEOs about business growth and risk.

Strategy and growth

Designing your fiercest competitor: Mastering change by making it real

Imagining a scenario that would destroy your business enables a company to outlast and outsmart the competition

Strategy and growth

Cybersecurity: The new business priority

Biggest cyberthreats and how companies can protect themselves

Strategy and growth

Interview with P&G's Asia Group President Deb Henretta

Interview with Deb Henretta, P&G's Asia Group President, who provides unique perspectives on the region—its culture, diversity, and potential

Strategy and growth

Beyond the BRICS: How to succeed in emerging markets (by really trying)

Emerging markets offer cost-effective investment opportunities for businesses eager to grow globally—now

Strategy and growth

Are you designing a disruptive business model to keep your fiercest competitor at bay?

Designing a disruptive business model to keep your fiercest competitor at bay.

Strategy and growth

Ranking business-friendly cities

PwC ranks the cities that are most business-friendly, as well as what characteristics make them ideal.

Strategy and growth

Gaining ground: As the APEC region grows, talent shortages rise

The latest APEC CEO survey reveals that business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region are eager to grow but must adapt their talent strategies in an increasingly competitive environment

Strategy and growth

All in the family: Private companies voice their challenges and opportunities

Family-owned businesses face challenges like competition, government policies and market conditions

Strategy and growth

Health industry goldrush

The healthcare industry is innovating itself into four categories: fixers, connectors, retailers, implementers

Strategy and growth

Capital projects and infrastructure: The next test for nuclear

Nuclear power may be the solution of the future for global electricity needs.

Strategy and growth

Navigating the risks and opportunities in emerging markets

The rate of growth in emerging markets for the past decade and a half has been twice that of advanced countries, and this trend is unlikely to abate anytime soon.

Innovation and technology

Making over healthcare

While there’s still a great deal of uncertainty around the specifics of healthcare reform, one thing’s clear: The healthcare industry in the US will never be the same. And 2011 is shaping up to be a makeover year for healthcare providers, health insurers, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, and employers. But what are the most significant issues in play? A recent report identifies six.

Innovation and technology

The anytime, anywhere business opportunity

No longer viewed as a strictly consumer phenomenon, smart devices enabled by wireless data networks are getting down to business. Companies operating within all kinds of value chains are embracing them to improve processes, enhance collaboration, and reduce costs. But those benefits are only the beginning. Where do the real payoffs come from for companies using them?

Governance

Seeking shared agendas with governments

By helping create jobs in the private sector and by investing in infrastructure, governments can help create an environment conducive for growth. In fact, almost half of CEOs surveyed say that improving the country’s infrastructure and fostering a skilled workforce should be government’s top priorities. But how can CEOs enter strategic and collaborative relationships with governments to pursue their own growth agendas?

Innovation and technology

The technology powering business mobility

Operating systems, devices, wireless networks, and other IT components all comprise business mobility. But the real power lies in the convergence of the technologies and in how each organization applies them to redefine the way it works. While the chief information officer will lead the charge here, it's important that the rest of the leadership team understand the choices and issues that pertain to the following technology building blocks.

Innovation and technology

Measuring innovation

What is innovation? And how do you measure and benchmark it in your organization, be it private, public or academic?

Operations

How credible is your sustainable reporting?

CEOs and boards know the benefits of corporate responsibility reporting included increasing profitability, reducing supply chain risks and costs, and garnering sustainability ratings and recognitions. Overall, companies need this information to drive operational efficiencies and facilitate innovation. Ultimately though, to win stakeholders’ trust, companies need to be credible with respect to sustainability. How do they achieve it?

Governance

Interview with Niall Ferguson

In this interview, author and commentator Niall Ferguson brings this unique perspective to the major issues of the day—financial, economic, and political. As a student of empire, he also offers his views on why civilizations rise, fall, and, possibly, rise again.

Operations

Defining a new CEO agenda

As shown by the results of our 14th Annual Global CEO Survey,¹ about half of all CEOs are confident about revenue growth going forward. But how will they achieve it? Here PwC's Tom Craren outlines eight key strategies for seizing the opportunities at hand.

Innovation and technology

Striking the innovation balance

History is littered with companies that have failed to innovate, but innovation is now climbing to the top of the CEO agenda as a primary strategy for achieving profitable growth in a post-crisis economy. Is your company innovating to its full potential -- and what are the tensions that most affect a company’s ability to innovate successfully?

Operations

Combating cybercrime: The general counsel’s role

Cyberattacks aren’t just an information technology matter. Legal obligations, damages to the organization, and business relations with customers all come into play. Often the last to know, it is imperative that general counsel be the first on the cybercrime scene. They can play a pivotal role in protecting an organization if they act promptly when a company’s systems have become compromised.

Operations

Doing business in a changing China

As the fastest-growing major economy in the world, China continues to offer global companies attractive investment and business opportunities, but doing business there also means navigating the complexities that arise from China’s unique historical, political, and cultural contexts. Despite the challenges, what are leading US companies doing to succeed in China? For one, they're developing collaborative relationships with Chinese stakeholders and demonstrating the agility to continuously adapt their strategies to the country’s dynamic environment. What other steps are they taking?

Innovation and technology

Cloud computing gets strategic: Reducing technology costs is just the starting point

Most organizations today are no longer deciding whether they’ll use cloud computing - rather, they're deciding how they'll use it. But will they use software-as-a-service to provide CRM for their sales team instead of managing the application in-house? Should they take advantage of inexpensive, virtualized storage to meet mushrooming data needs? Will a private cloud enable them to better leverage technology investments among different business units? These are now the questions being asked and here, we take a look at the answers.

Innovation and technology

Customizing healthcare: How a new approach to diagnosis, care, and cure could transform employer benefits in a postreform world

Healthcare reform in the US will change funding, insurance coverage, and regulation will affect virtually everyone—including large employers, the majority of which are self-insured. What are proactive companies doing already to consider how reform will change plan eligibility, plan design, underwriting rules, tax deductions, and more and how are they reevaluating their benefits strategies accordingly?

Governance

Trust but verify: From transparency to competitive advantage

“Trust but verify” was a slogan used during the Cold War to describe the basis for transparency in political relationships. Today, the term can be used to describe a strategy for narrowing the “trust gap” not between nations, but between companies and stakeholders. Whether you are trying to prevent a trust-eroding event or repair the damage after one has occurred, transparency is key. But it's not the only factor of a successful solution. You need credibility to back up the promise of transparency. What can companies do to achieve both?

Operations

Interview: Capitalism reset

While some views hold that capitalism is on its way out, reality tells a different story.Through crisis after crisis, through boom cycles and busts, capitalism manages to reinvent itself and prevail. In this interview, economist and journalist Anatole Kaletsky shares his unique perspective on the resilience of capitalism and on the current state of our economy and its prospects for the future.

Strategy and growth

View 13: Weighing in on the world’s cities

What makes a city great? Surely factors like livability, abundant resources and thriving business come to mind. But other factors show that intellectual capital is also at the core of a city’s appeal; a strong intellectual base not only attracts investment but can also foster innovation, while a brain drain deflates a city’s potential for vibrancy. Here we take a closer look at the factors revealed in the Cities of Opportunity study and what the keys to a well-balanced city are.

Innovation and technology

Selling the smart grid

For the first time, the utilities industry is preparing to deal with a challenge it has not encountered before: customer relations beyond billings and outages. As cities across the United States gear up to introduce the smart grid, utilities are hoping to find ways of convincing customers that the new technology is beneficial. What must utilities companies do to sell the idea successfully?

Governance

Defining the lead director role

A new role emerged as a result of recent corporate scandals: the lead director, whose main function is to foster greater transparency and accountability among senior leadership. Beyond that, there's been little consensus regarding the responsibilities a lead director should assume. Here we take a closer look at how the role should be defined and what its key offerings are to an organization.

Operations

The rise of the public-private partnership

The benefits of PPPs can be compelling. Public-private partnerships don’t simply provide much-needed capital for projects; they can also serve as models of efficiency and reliability and be champions of high levels of accountability and transparency. In addition, PPPs can be cost-effective and time efficient. But are PPPs applicable to all capital projects? We break down the issues in greater deal in this edition of View.

Operations

Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act

Touted as a bill that will completely overhaul the financial regulatory system, the Dodd-Frank Act creates new regulators, regulates new markets, brings new firms into the regulatory arena, and provides new rule-making and enforcement powers for existing agencies. It will have enormous impact on both financial and non-financial services firms. Here we examine the Act in detail, offering you key guidance to better understand its reach and impact.

Regulation

Taking stock and looking ahead

Everybody’s talking about the state of the economy. In fact it’s sometimes hard to hear above the din. But here, economist and best-selling author, Kenneth S. Rogoff, cuts through the chatter with clear and thought-provoking insights into the warning signs that foreshadowed the recession, why housing prices got so high, the nature of bank crises, national debt issues and more.

Operations

Have you joined the dance?

As PwC US Chairman Bob Moritz puts it, coping with change and risk is a given in a global economy, but it's never been more challenging than during the recent economic crisis and the post-crisis recovery. But who will the winners and losers be? Bob says the losers will be those that hold on to the status quo and let change overwhelm them. The winners will be those that “join the dance” by embracing and adapting to change. Which one describes your approach?

Innovation and technology

Two views

Historically, most innovation was performed by the company’s own employees. This closed model derived from assumptions that internal resources are most trustworthy and staved off competition. But now open innovation that takes advantage of the knowledge that exists outside the organization has also been embraced. Both models are employed today and each has its place. Have you thought about which model is right for you?

The cleantech revolution

Businesses and investors have set their sights on the new smart energy infrastructures, technology and information system changes that are part of the cleantech revolution. But some companies are missing out on opportunities they didn’t know existed. Are you among them?

Operations

Are you ready for the recovery?

What will the post-crisis environment look like? We can’t be entirely sure, but based on our research, we can make some pretty good educated guesses. In the post-crisis environment, consumers are likely to be much smarter about how they spend their money, and they will be more active in terms of influencing the products and services they’ll buy. What other changes will we see?

Strategy and growth

Investing in functional foods

In an environment where consumers are becoming more health conscious and baby boomers are battling the aging process, functional foods—foods that are fortified with nutritional or disease-preventing supplements—are invigorating the food industry. However, manufacturers have had to be mindful of the higher research and development investment, the ingredient costs, and the specialized technology associated with the fortifying of foods. But opportunities do exist. Where are investors finding them?

Governance

Rethinking business fraud motivations

Why do individuals commit white-collar crime? Is it because of financial need or anxiety at work, or simply because they can? According to a recent survey on economic crime in the United States, the answer is—all of the above. Since the majority of fraud is committed internally, strengthening that line of defense—by building a culture where fraud is not tolerated and those who report it need not fear retaliation—can help companies better deter economic crime.

Governance

Focusing on healthcare value

The healthcare problem certainly isn’t new. But the recession, ongoing healthcare market changes, and the lingering prospect of healthcare reform have increased the pressure US businesses are feeling. Employers realize this means reevaluating their current methods, as well as asking themselves, Are we maximizing the value of our healthcare dollars? Are we having a positive impact on our people’s health and their performance? Here we discuss the challenges and solutions that proactive companies are pursuing this year and in the future.

Operations

From transaction to transformation

Like so many things affected by what’s coming to be called the Great Recession, corporate mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures may never be quite the same. As deal activity begins to ramp up, companies are aware that the stakes have never been higher and are beginning to think about the right strategic moves. Here we look at how leading businesses across diverse industries are seizing the opportunity and using deals to reinvent their companies.

Risk

Eyes wide open

A serious risk many CEOs might overlook is being unprepared for international anticorruption enforcement. Surveyed CEOs say better understanding corruption would help them compete more effectively, improve corporate social responsibility, and enter new markets. Such corporate intelligence is an essential tool for seizing global business opportunities.

Governance

Financial reporting

For many companies, financial reporting is a fundamental part of doing business—and it is an issue that has been at the fore during the recent economic crisis. What are the most pressing financial reporting concerns for US companies? And what larger role do they see financial reporting playing in our nation’s economic stability? We explored these questions in our recent Management Barometer, which surveys executives on their business outlook and other hot topics.

Innovation and technology

Are you aware of the following misconceptions surrounding innovation?

Some believe innovation can't be measured or that businesses know how much innovation they need. There are other misperceptions surrounding innovation beyond these. This issue of View takes a closer look at the common misunderstandings about innovations and strives to set the record straight on why -- and how -- innovation matters.

Operations

Two views

In 2012, many of China’s top leaders are likely to retire, making way for the next generation of political leadership. The time is right to assess some of the different views on the vision for future development of the Chinese economy. For US companies, especially now, ignoring those different views could be a costly mistake. What should your company do to develop strategies that can quickly adapt to divergent views?

Governance

Facing new risks in the boardroom

For boards of directors, the current economic environment has brought its own share of issues. With the ups and downs of the financial markets, corporate scandals, and the public push for greater regulation, directors are facing new challenges. With uncertainty prevalent in the current climate, do board members feel capable of meeting their responsibility to oversee significant, high-level risks?

Innovation and technology

Securing information in the downturn

In times of uncertainty, information security cannot be ignored. And companies that invest in protecting their data will not only limit damage to their assets and their reputations but also emerge stronger and more resilient. What are you doing to protect your company?

Governance

Fighting corruption

Corruption is considered a global epidemic that costs the economy more than $1 trillion annually, according to estimates by the World Bank Institute. In recent years, public and private sectors around the globe have begun working together to change that situation, attempting to level the playing field for citizens, nations, and businesses. Here, we give an overview of their efforts.

Innovation and technology

The cleantech revolution

Driven by ecological and political concerns, and fueled by stimulus dollars, smart-energy infrastructures are becoming realities. As PwC’s US Cleantech leader Tim Carey observes, interest and support for these infrastructures are growing, and opportunities for a diverse group of partners are emerging at a rapid pace. But some companies are missing out on opportunities they didn’t know existed. Are you among them?

Governance

Are you prepared to combat corruption— and seize emerging-market opportunities?

How do you ensure your code of business conduct standards regarding corruption is met by your employees and your third-party providers, such as agents, sales consultants, distributors, and vendors? Is your company prepared to combat global corruption risks—and seize emerging-market opportunities? Read our latest issue of The View for a look at some of the best ways to address these issues.

Governance

Does your company operate in China?

As China moves toward becoming the largest economy in the world, will it align its political, economic, regulatory, legal, and commercial systems with those associated with today’s developed nations? Or will it establish a new set of rules? Also, does it view itself as a socialist country, or does it embrace capitalist ideals? Download the latest issue of View for a look at these and other intriguing questions.

Governance

Focusing on business

Uncertainty continues to reign in our economy, but there's plenty to be hopeful about, says PwC US Chairman, Bob Moritz. And, he says, many businesses—PwC included—aren't letting a sluggish recovery derail plans for going forward. So what direction should companies be heading in as this new era unfolds? "You can succumb to paralysis engendered by fear…or, you can acknowledge risk, adapt to it, reset your priorities, and move forward aggressively on your strategic imperatives," Bob says. What choice will you make?