Monthly Archives: January 2012

Goldenworkers: Needs and trends analysis report


This report provides analyzes the phenomenon of ageing at work. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness within and beyond the academic community about the importance of applying ICTs to improve work environments for an ageing population.

The project looks at the future of ICTs for ageing workers and, it is hoped, will help support funding and policy decisions that will provide technologies addressing the challenges of an ageing population and a social system that is unsustainable in its current design. 

This report is available from the IESE Publications Website.

IFS Economic and Financial Outlooks

(CC) Mike Licht/FlickrThe IFS has published the January Updates of their reports: the World Economic Outlook (WEO), the Global Financial Stability Report and the Fiscal Monitor.

According to the WEO, the global recovery is threatened by intensifying strains in the euro area and fragilities elsewhere. Financial conditions have deteriorated, growth prospects have dimmed, and downside risks have escalated.

Global output is projected to expand by 3¼ percent in 2012, a downward revision of about three-quarters of a percentage point relative to September 2011 WEO. This is largely because the euro area economy is now expected to go into a mild recession in 2012 as a result of the rise in sovereign yields, the effects of bank deleveraging on the real economy, and the impact of additional fiscal consolidation. Growth in emerging and developing economies is also expected to slow because of the worsening external environment and a weakening of internal demand.

This update of the Fiscal Monitor has three main messages. The first message is that fiscal adjustment is proceeding at a fairly good pace in both advanced and emerging economies. The second message looking ahead is that fiscal adjustment should continue, but should continue at the right pace because both too little adjustment and too much adjustment will be bad for growth. The third message is that the countries that are under pressure will have to go ahead with strong fiscal adjustment. However, it warns, a strategy that is based only on fiscal tightening will not be optimal.

Since the last Global Financial Stability Report, risks to stability have increased, despite various policy steps to contain the euro area debt crisis and banking problems. The euro area debt crisis has intensified further, requiring urgent action to prevent highly destabilizing outcomes. European policymakers have taken significant steps to contain the crisis while the outlook for sovereign risk in some larger economies has worsened.

The full report is available on the web.

The power of LEO: the revolutionary process for achieving extraordinary results by Subir Chowdhury. (New York : McGraw-Hill, 2012)


Hailed as “the Quality Prophet” by BusinessWeek, Subir Chowdhury is the long-established global authority on the critical importance of quality and how to achieve it with Design for Six Sigma (DFSS). Now, he takes it to the next level by showing you how to build quality into the DNA of your entire organization.

In his bestselling book “Cream Ice”, Chowdhury introduced his next-generation management system—LEO. In The Power of LEO, he describes how continuous focus on quality improvement can revolutionize any process—from manufacturing operations to managerial decision making. The secret is to cease delegating the responsibility of quality to specific teams or departments and permanently lodge it within the core of an organization’s culture.

Chowdhury’s profoundly simple yet extraordinarily effective management system is based on three basic principles:

       Listen—Seek input from all stakeholders within your organization, from suppliers to employees to customers

       Enrich—Create new ideas for improvement and solutions for problems using simple techniques

       Optimize—Select the best improvement idea or solution, subject it to testing in the real world, and correct all shortcomings

Quality methodologies like Six Sigma and Lean can be highly effective but are used narrowly and by limited personnel within an organization. LEO is the encompassing strategy that can be easily embraced by everyone within an organization, resulting in measurable improvements in your operations, products, and bottom line.

For more information, click here.

You can find this title at IESE’s Library catalog.

Fast forward to Growth

Stock.xchngAccenture has just published the report, “Fast Forward to Growth: Seizing Opportunitiesin High-Growth Markets.” The study shows that while executives are focused primarily on high-growth markets in emerging economies to provide growth, many believe their companies must accelerate their efforts to build their share in these markets – or may already be too late to do so.

The survey of 588 business leaders in 85 counties found that 40 percent of executives say they lack a strategy or the operational capabilities to take advantage in their target high-growth markets and 57 percent believe their company will have to “reassess” or “fundamentally rethink” the approaches and capabilities they need to compete in their markets.

The report analyzes the diversity of growth rates of household incomes in a number of economies and suggests that significant opportunities exist in markets that are often poorly understood by multinational companies.

Read more about how to tap into high-growth market opportunities here.

PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey


PricewaterhouseCoopers released at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos the “15th Annual Global CEO Survey.” According to the report nearly half of the 1,258 CEOs polled worldwide believe the global economy will decline even further in the next 12 months.

However, nearly three times as many CEOs are confident in their own companies’ growth prospects for the next 12 months than in the outlook for the global economy, suggesting CEOs believe they have learned how to manage through difficult economic times.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest decline in confidence was inWestern Europe. Beset by the sovereign debt crisis, just a quarter of European CEOs said they were very confident of revenue growth, down sharply from nearly 40 percent last year. However, short term confidence also fell among CEOs in Asia Pacific to 42 percent from 54 percent last year.

The full report is available online.

Global Employment Trends

(CC) OITThe International Labour Organization (ILO) has just published the annual report, “Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a Deeper Jobs Crisis.” According to the study, the world faces the “urgent challenge” of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion.

Moreover, the report claims that more than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next decade to absorb the estimated 40-million-strong growth of the labor force each year.

The world faces the additional challenge of creating decent jobs for the estimated 900 million workers living with their families below the US$2 a day poverty line, mostly in developing countries.

According to the study, the recovery that started in 2009 has been short-lived and there are still 27 million more unemployed workers than at the start of the crisis. The fact that economies are not generating enough employment is reflected in the employment-to-population ratio (the proportion of the working-age population in employment), which suffered the largest decline on record between 2007 (61.2 per cent) and 2010 (60.2 per cent).

Access the full text here.

The World’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies

(CC) Sieburhr/Flickr

Novo Nordisk (Denmark) is the most sustainable company on earth this year, according to The Corporate Knights Most Sustainable Companies of 2012 list. It is followed by Natura Cosmeticos (Brazil) and Statoil ASA (Norway) in second and third position, respectively.

Some of the things measured were how much carbon emissions and waste is produced by companies, as well as their water and energy usage in proportion to how much revenue they generate.

Other, non-environmental factors were also considered, such as the proportion of board directors who are women and how much employee turnover there is. The Corporate Knights research group evaluated the 400 participating companies using 11 environmental, social and governance performance measures, including energy productivity, waste productivity and CEO-to-average-worker pay ratio. Corporate Knights added employee turnover as an indicator this year.

You can view the ranking and related information here.

OECD Economic Survey of Chile

(CC) Rodrigo Vera/Flickr

The OECD has just launched its latest Economic Survey of Chile. The report notes that Chile’s strong recovery lost some momentum as the world economy slowed, weakening copper prices and consumer confidence in the country.

Given considerable uncertainties regarding the health of the world economy, more supportive macroeconomic policies may be needed in the short run. In the longer run, reducing poverty and inequality is a key challenge. Both remain high by OECD standards, notwithstanding impressive progress.

Redistributive transfers and progressive taxes are very limited. Better education and job opportunities for the poor would enable more Chileans to contribute to a more dynamic and productive economy and thus to higher welfare.

The full text is available to the IESE Community.

ExxonMobil: Highest Valued Energy Company

(CC) .Shell/FlickrExxonMobil heads this year’s edition of the PFC Energy 50 Ranking of the World’s Top Energy Companies with a market capitalization of $406.3 bn. PetroChina slides one place to #2 with a market valuation of $276.6 bn and is followed by Royal Dutch Shell in third place, with a $234.6 bn valuation.

The listing includes companies from nine sectors: International Oil Companies; National Oil Companies; Exploration & Production; Refining & Marketing; Gas Utilities; Oilfield Services; Drilling & Seismic; Equipment and Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation; and Alternative Energy.

The full ranking is available here.

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012

Stock.xchngThe United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published, jointly with the UN Development of Social Affairs (DESA) and UN Regional Commissions, “The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012.”

The report warns that persistent high unemployment, the euro area debt crisis and premature fiscal austerity have already slowed global growth and factors in the possibility of a new recession.

The study notes that global economic growth started to decelerate on a broad front in mid-2011 and is expected to continue to do so well into 2012 and 2013. World GDP is expected to grow by 2.6 per cent in 2012 and 3.2 per cent in 2013, compared to 4 per cent in 2010.

Developing countries and economies in transition are expected to continue to stoke the engine of the world economy, growing on average by 5.4 per cent in 2012 and 5.8 per cent in 2013 in the baseline outlook. This is well below the pace of 7.1 per cent achieved in 2010.

The report is available online.