Four years ago, we launched the first Art of Smart report to provide analysis and insights to help our clients in their everyday decision-making processes. We sought to do this by examining organizational activities and their performance related to attitudes and actions around the diversity agenda, approach to growth, appetite for boldness, and – finally – how and where they demonstrated innovation.
Innovation, boldness, growth and diversity have been widely acknowledged for some time as significant contributors to making smarter decisions. These four success factors are, therefore, the pillars on which Art of Smart content is founded. The range of data-driven content – including textual, visual and audio – will inform leaders about business-critical topics.
We continue to develop our editorial approach to meet the needs of the times. The Art of Smart program has evolved to be a sustained campaign that continues to monitor business challenges, provide perspective, and introduce relevant discussion points throughout the year.
Society and organizations have faced severe and unprecedented challenges in recent years. As a result, boldness and innovation have become business critical, not for growth, but in many cases for survival. To find the most interesting and pioneering solutions, the Art of Smart continues to look further afield, broadening the sectors covered – healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, financial services, non-profit, and tourism and leisure – as well as the types of organizations, to include public, private and non-profits. Ultimately, this content informs readers so that they are better prepared for the future and can make smarter decisions.
Since 2020, the Art of Smart research team has examined over 600 organizations, operating in various industries and different regions around the world, to discover which of them is leading the way in the four pillars of smart decision-making: boldness, innovation, diversity and growth. From this extensive research six themes, relevant for the biggest business challenges in 2022 and 2023, have been identified.
Organizations that have not transformed significantly since the start of the coronavirus crisis are likely to struggle in the post-pandemic world. Business as usual doesn’t exist. Old business models need to be ripped up and replaced. But how can businesses continually evolve, and drive innovation, with one eye on today and the other on tomorrow?
As humanity lurches from the pandemic to the climate crisis, where does sustainability truly sit on the list of priorities for business leaders? Actions not just hollow words and greenwashing are demanded by stakeholders now. So how can, for example, circular economies reduce waste and cost and help the planet’s health, and what are the steps to improve a culture of sustainability?
The future of work is here today, in glimpses. Now, post-pandemic, many organizations are trying to firm-up their hybrid-working policies, with limited success. Neither the carrot nor the stick are working that well for those businesses trying to tempt or force employees back into the office, as evidenced by the ongoing Great Reservation. So what do workers want, how should distributed teams be managed, and what will the workplaces of tomorrow look like?
The digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic has opened up multiple new attack vectors for cybercriminals. Yet a lack of knowledge sharing, common standards, and best practices mean that organizations are increasingly vulnerable to ever-more sophisticated and coordinated attacks – it’s now a case of “when” not “if” there will be a breach. How can businesses reduce cyber risk – including managing the supply chain – and limit financial and reputational damage?
Startups and entrepreneurs want fairer access to capital – venture capital has been proven biased towards men. Things are changing, with women- and BIPOC-only funds now established. Equally, consumer investment is on the rise, as is responsible investing. Additionally, many paper-rich businesses and unicorns have lost their allure recently, with the stock markets imperiled by a perfect storm and a looming global recession. Where does this leave family business? And what part will cryptocurrencies, the Decentralized Finance revolution, and decentralized autonomous organizations play in the coming years?
Technology was the great enabler during the pandemic – but have we become too reliant on it? It is critical for business leaders to not use tech solutions just for the sake of it, and consider how, without due care, future problems may be created. People have to be central to digital transformation, and those who race ahead without a focus on change management run the risk of killing company culture. Are we mistaking being busy with being productive? Is offline the new online? How can man and machine work together in harmony?
Explore the four success factors in smart decision-making and today's business-critical challenges
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