The Bigger Risks to Business

Inequality, generational conflict, and strains on retirement funding.

Familiar risks top the agendas of most business leaders.

Chief Executive Officers are preparing for slow economic growth caused by demographic trends, political instability, and the unwinding of unprecedented monetary stimulus. They must respond to the blistering pace of technological change in a way that makes them the disrupters, rather than the disrupted. Additionally, they face talent challenges as the millennial generation gravitates towards technology companies, startups, or non-profits.

These immediate risks demand attention. Yet important social trends are also creating structural risks that must be understood and considered in strategic planning: widening gaps in wealth, generational inequality, and shortfalls in retirement funding.

Media outlets warn of alienated populations and the potential consequences, but this has not been a focus for executive suites and boardrooms. That is a mistake. These trends may give rise to global crises that could present much graver threats to business returns than the familiar challenges that most companies grapple with every day.

Source: Luxembourg Income Study database, The Guardian
Important social trends are creating structural risks that must be understood and considered in strategic planning
Scott McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Wyman

About AuthorScott McDonald is the Chief Executive Officer of Oliver Wyman.

This article appeared on BRINK.

The Bigger Risks to Business