Stéphane Garelli is a world authority on competitiveness, having pioneered research in the field for over 25 years.
Stéphane Garelli is a professor at the Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he heads the World Competitiveness Centre, and also an associate professor at the University of Lausanne where he teaches competitiveness of enterprises and nations.
He was Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and director of its well-known Davos Annual Meetings for many years.
Besides his academic career, Stéphane Garelli has worked closely with several large global enterprises, in particular as a special advisor to Hewlett-Packard in Europe.
He is also closely involved with public management and politics, having been an elected member of the Constitutional Assembly of his local state in Switzerland.
Stéphane Garelli reads today’s global economic picture better than anyone else – he is an exciting speaker who combines content with an entertaining approach to complex issues supported by his trademark graphics.
His presentations on competitiveness provoke companies and individuals to think “outside the box”, and to confront their strategies with recent market trends and new competitive pressures.
In 2006 he published his best-selling book Top Class Competitors – How Nations, Firms and Individuals Succeed in the New World of Competitiveness with Wiley.
Speaking topics include:
Competitiveness: A New Mindset
According to the French writer Antoine de Saint Exupery “Our task is not to foresee the future but to make it happen”. Competitiveness is thus a very powerful tool to integrate the various facets of a fast changing business environment into winning strategies for companies. And indeed, we are witnessing some of the most fundamental transformation in the world business landscape in decades
World markets have increased tenfold.
The world economy is open and now serves 6.3 billion people!
25 years ago, the business horizon was essentially limited to the US, Japan and Europe, that is 580 million people. With the opening of former communist countries, world markets have increased tenfold!
This is now a world of unlimited business opportunities. And it will continue to expand: at current rates, the world population increases by 1 billion people every 15 years.
Who has the money?
The balance of power is shifting: rapid growth produces wealth.
China has passed the $1’000bn threshold in foreign currency reserves, the largest in the world. Russia, Taiwan, Korea, India, Hong Kong and the Gulf countries are also stacking up money at an impressive rate.
Traditionally, these countries have invested their surpluses in US Treasury bonds or in real estate in America and Europe. But not any more…
From Financial to Industrial Assets.
Developing nations are now focusing on buying their own industrial assets.
More than 700 Chinese companies are now operating in Africa buying up mostly energy assets. India focuses on technology and service companies.
Dubai diversifies into everything from shipping to finance.
In addition, regional investments are booming: $700bn worth of industrial projects are conducted in the Gulf region alone.
The Next ‘Big’ Revolution
From cheap manpower to cheap brainpower: The competitiveness structure of emerging nations changes quickly.
China, India and Russia produce together as many university students as the US. China invests more in research than Japan and will surpass the EU in 2010. India has opened 120 telemedicine centres to serve the world health community. And this is just the beginning…
Productivity Tends to Converge Globally
Productivity tends to converge despite differences in labour cost.
Global companies are spreading standardized technologies and management processes in all the locations where they operate.
The transfer of knowledge between developed and developing nations is thus taking place at a faster speed than ever.
Local companies are learning fast. Some are transforming themselves from suppliers to competitors…
A New World in Transition.
Emerging markets are thus turning into emerging powers.
New competitors, essentially from Asia, Russia and the Gulf countries, are learning to stand on their own feet and to operate at home and abroad.
We shall see a proliferation of new brands and new companies. They will turn out to be formidable competitors for established companies.
And when they cannot compete, they will buy companies or acquire industrial assets, even in industrialized nations.
Changing the Mindset.
Enterprises must switch from a productivity mentality to a growth mentality. Market shares are now the name of the game. In order to catch these new opportunities, companies must accept a higher degree of risk in their operations and accordingly adopt a more aggressive mindset. Collaborators on the “front line” should be empowered and decision-making must be streamlined.
Globalisation = Complexity
The rapidity to adapt is however impaired by the complexity of many business models, which have emerged from decades of reengineering, outsourcing, and off-shoring.
Although companies today are more sophisticated than ever, they are also more difficult to manage and more complex to work with from the point of view of partners and customers.
The simplification of business processes has thus become a prerequisite for success.
The Next Revolution
Customers want companies not only to sell a competitive product but also to manage the outcome and to implement a total service.
A closer relationship with customers and their objectives is more than ever a key competitive advantage beyond cost efficiency and technological innovation.
Customers are also ready to take a more active role in the management of the value chain and directly perform some task, provided they benefit from an advantage in cost, speed or customisation.
A ‘why not?’ Attitude
Competitive individuals have to embrace a new mindset to succeed in such a new environment.
The ability to think outside the box, to take risk, to be resilient, and to make things happen will be paramount.
Ultimately, competitiveness is about spreading a “why not” attitude throughout the company and raising the ambition of everyone, everywhere!