Companies were soon left behind by the crisis mode after the outbreak, business leaders quickly took the initiative, I read in the presentation of another global survey. This time, an auditing and consulting company called Mazars, which has been present in Hungary for thirty years, has put its mood report on the table. We could easily walk past it if it didn’t have a few astonishing statements in it. One is about women leaders and the other is about assessing the importance of climate change.
Contrary to popular belief, 2020 has not been unfavorable for businesses in all sectors and there is still a lack of opportunities, according to a survey of global business sentiment, C -suite barometer Not only are most business leaders not afraid of the negative business effects of the epidemic, but they expect growth in 2021. They don’t hide it from Mazars either: they were surprised by the result, but they came to the conclusion that investing in the flexibility and resilience of a company is always a good decision.
The survey shows the curve, along which not only companies surveyed made progress: during the first spring wave of the epidemic, they focused on short-term challenges such as financing, the company’s reputation, and, of course, employee health issues. The gloves were put on by the middle of the year and they were already starting to plan for 2021 and beyond. Topics such as research and development, the introduction of new products and services, and sustainability have become increasingly important in strategy-making.
And here comes the first oddity: in long-term planning, women took the lead. the prime – from the second half of the year, 65 per cent of female executives shifted their focus to long-term investment, with a similar 6 per cent of male decision-makers
The following is an interesting assessment of the importance of climate change: from a European perspective, a pandemic could have been expected to shed light on the seriousness of the problem, and business leaders will take the climate issue more seriously if they do not directly affect their company or that they are already sufficiently prepared for it. That is not the case – climate change is at the bottom of the list of companies. It is particularly painful that in the Central and Eastern European region, only 10 percent of company executives mentioned the climate issue, which Mazars says is by far the lowest rate in the world.
The picture is slightly shaded by the fact that the survey was repeated at the end of the year, this time on a smaller scale and with a typical focus on Western Europe. By this time, the mood of the company executives had become more gloomy. The number of organizations where managers fear a decline in sales in 2021 has increased and long-term planning has also been relegated to the background
Planning is based on data. In an article in this issue , Dan Sommer, Director of Qlik, reflects on the importance of obtaining accurate, reliable information in a timely manner, as data have a major impact on, for example, epidemic and also the effectiveness and success of crisis management. It’s not a devil’s thing, he says, to use alternative data sources like the press, news programs, or more recently social media to play a quick role. At the same time, we must not forget that last year’s data explosion was nicely settled by politics. The dangers of misrepresentation and manipulation have worsened in the coronavirus crisis, which is why, according to Sommer, the teaching of data literacy has become extremely important at the social level as well. As this is unlikely to work overnight, the director of Qlik said a data etiquette would be needed to set the rules for data use in public discourse.
Sommer is right, I will be curious, will the idea come true.
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