Today is Puzzle Day

Did you know…

… that today is Puzzle Day? Today we honor puzzles of all kinds – jigsaws, riddles, word puzzles, and more. Besides being a source of entertainment, studies have shown that doing puzzles can help enhance brain activity in adults. It also increases creativity and concentration, and it improves memory. So, what are you waiting for? Go enhance some brain activity. 🙂


He who has it doesn’t tell it. He who takes it doesn’t know it. He who knows it doesn’t want it. What is it?




The answer is: Counterfeit money.





A leathery snake with a stinging bite, coiled up I wait until I must fight. What am I?





The answer is: A whip.


Today is Puzzle Day

Did you know…

… that today is Puzzle Day? Today we honor puzzles of all kinds – jigsaws, riddles, word puzzles, and more. Besides being a source of entertainment, studies have shown that doing puzzles can help enhance brain activity in adults. It also increases creativity and concentration, and it improves memory. So, what are you waiting for? Go enhance some brain activity. 🙂


Courtesy: Daily Pnut

Daily Pnut
The World In A Nutshell
“Lansdale was a victim in Vietnam of his success in the Philippines. Men who succeed at an enterprise of great moment often tie a snare for themselves by assuming that they have discovered some universal truth.”

– Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

“It was very sad, he thought. The things men carried inside. The things men did or felt they had to do.”

“He wished he could’ve explained some of this. How he had been braver than he ever thought possible, but how he had not been so brave as he wanted to be. The distinction was important.”

– Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried


Victorious in Battle But Defeated in War: President Trump could be on track to ending America’s 17 year military involvement in Afghanistan. US representatives and the Taliban met in Qatar last week for six days of grueling negotiations; they’ve come up with the outline of a broad plan in which US troops would leave the country in exchange for the insurgents pledging to ensure that Afghan territory would not be used by them or other Islamist militant groups to harm American interests. In a series of tweets Saturday, Trump’s special envoy for Afghan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the latest talks had made “significant progress on vital issues,” but there were still “a number of issues to work out.” He added that any final agreement must include participation by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, and a “comprehensive ceasefire.” Ghani had been excluded until now from the talks because Taliban officials view his government as an American puppet.

On Sunday Khalilzad flew to Kabul and briefed Ghani, who gave a televised speech the next day from his palace. Ghani called for the insurgents to “begin serious talks” with his government in order to reach a “speedy peace.” He also assured Afghans he would accept no deal that undermines their rights and the nation’s unity. A statement from Ghani’s office said that he was told by Khalilzad that any pullout of foreign troops would be conducted “in coordination” with the Afghan government. Some opposition leaders criticized Ghani’s assertion, noting that Trump has already said he’s anxious to withdraw American troops, and also that Khalilzad has been under White House pressure to arrange a deal with the Taliban as fast as possible. President Obama campaigned on ending the war in Afghanistan but it is President Trump who might actually be ending America’s involvement in that forever war.

Additional read: “Taliban talks: Will negotiations lead to peace in Afghanistan?” (BBC)

Additional quote: “The late Colonel Harry Summers liked to tell a tale familiar to many who served in Vietnam. In April 1975, after the war was over, the colonel was in a delegation dispatched to Hanoi. In the airport, he got into a conversation with a North Vietnamese colonel named Tu who spoke some English and, as soldiers do, they began to talk shop. After a while, Colonel Summers said: “You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield.” Colonel Tu thought about that for a minute, then replied: “That may be so. But it is also irrelevant.”

You Either Die a Hero, or You Live Long Enough to See Yourself Become the Villain: Seventy years after his assassination Mohandas Gandhi’s global influence is still enormous and his reputation for good still intact. The example he set for what could be achieved by peaceful protest has inspired countless others across different cultures and different times. But today, in his native country, his star seems to be burning less brightly. One political scientist put it this way: “I am afraid Gandhi has become marginal. In modern India, the two dominant forces hate him.” First are right-wing Hindu nationalists, currently part of India’s party of governing elite, who see Gandhi as weak. Second are Dalits, a class at the bottom of Hindu society, but which now wields political clout simply due to its more-than-200-million-people size. Dalits fault the personally ascetic Gandhi for his life-long association with some of India’s richest capitalists, and for not doing enough to dismantle the country’s brutal caste system. (NYT)

Horrific Child Murders In Tanzania: Six children between the ages of two and nine years were found murdered in south-western Tanzania. All had their ears and teeth removed, and some were missing limbs. Correspondents say that witchdoctors in the region tell people that human body parts have special properties that can bring them wealth and luck. Three of the children were from the same family. Police have a suspect in custody who is a close relative of the children. (BBC)

Tipping The Scale Of Gender Equality (In The Wrong Direction): Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, held a ceremony recently to honor the recipients of the country’s gender balance awards. The sheikh noted that women were “central to shaping the future of the country,” and said the United Arab Emirates had made “significant progress in achieving gender balance.” He then sent out a tweet showing the award recipients–all men. (BBC)

Additional read: Elite Law Firm’s All-White Partner Class Stirs Debate on Diversity (NYT, $)

Capital City Of The Apes: For three decades Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur has been expanding, and in the process swallowing up the rainforest habitats of long-tailed macaque monkeys. While elephants and tigers have been shunted from city boundaries the macaques have stayed alongside the growing human population, which provides them a tempting source of thrown-away food. But as the city continues eradicating more and more forest, the relationship between humans and monkeys grows more complicated. In Ampang, just a 15 minute drive from the city center, macaques break into houses and locals use firecrackers to scare them off. In response to complaints, the Malaysian government’s wildlife department culls many thousands of macaques annually. (Guardian)

– What goes up: are predictions of a population crisis wrong? (Guardian)

– Gilets jaunes leader hit in eye during protest ‘will be disabled for life’: Jérôme Rodrigues’s lawyer says he was injured by ‘flash-ball’ riot police weapon (Guardian)

– Poland alarmed by sick cow slaughter at meat plant: Polish police are investigating an abattoir suspected of illegally trafficking in sick cattle, which has been filmed covertly. (BBC)

– The divide on Venezuela: Who’s supporting Maduro and who’s following the U.S. lead in recognizing Guaidó (WaPo, $)

Riposting Republicans: President Trump responded over the weekend to criticism within his own ranks over his capitulation to Democratic demands that he reopen the government without $5.7 billion for a wall along the US-Mexico border. On Friday conservative author Ann Coulter tweeted: “Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.” Sunday Trump told the Wall Street Journal: “I hear [Coulter’s] become very hostile. Maybe I didn’t return her phone call or something.” (WaPo)

Additional reads: Charles Koch quotes Frederick Douglass: he will ‘unite with anybody to do right’ (Guardian) And Want to know which Democrats can actually beat Trump? We don’t have to guess. (WaPo, $)

American History 2019White Supremacist Pleads Guilty In Fatal Sword Stabbing Of Black Man (NPR) We’ve dug ourselves a really deep hole’ – David Neiwert on the rise of the far right: Neiwert has reported on the US far right for decades and watched as the conservative movement has steadily adopted its outlook and ideas (Guardian) “The fear that lies behind aggressive masculinity: Why do so many men love Jordan Peterson and hate the Gillette ad? If they’re truly strong they don’t need to prove their virility” (Guardian) Additional Listen: Masculinity And U.S. Extremism: What Makes Young Men Vulnerable To Toxic Ideologies (Wamu)

A frequent topic in the news is one that is either about millennials or money or both. And the news isn’t great and is making millennials even more nervous that their job and futures. If the job isn’t outsourced then it might be automated:

It doesn’t take a double-blind multi-million dollar study to tell us what common sense would indicate: that screen time is unnatural and a lot of screen time bad for anyone, and especially bad for babies and young kids. Pnut’s publisher isn’t Doctor Benjamin Spock, but he keeps his kids away from digital crack.

Please consider making a donation to Daily Pnut, an independently operated and bootstrapped publication. Many thanks to everyone who already supports us!


via: Mission Newsletter

“What’s really cool about LEGOs is that you can put a bunch of bricks on the table, and everybody will make something different. Everyone has different ideas, and some of them may seem crazy.” -Christopher Miller
Food For Thought
Watch Your Step…

On this day in 1958, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen patented the current LEGO brick design—a “stud-and-tube coupling system” that made the models more stable. The next day, Godtfred’s wife patented a system of feet dragging to avoid stepping on the sharp pieces.

(Okay, we made up that last part… 😉)

LEGO has been around since 1916. Kirk Kristiansen—Godtfred’s father—ran a small business in Billund, Denmark, making stepladders, ironing boards, stools, and wooden toys.

Eventually, he expanded the wooden toy department. Fast forward 26 years and, voila, you have the LEGO Brick.

The name LEGO comes from the Danish words LEg GOdt which mean “play well”. (Interestingly, in Latin, ‘lego’ means to gather, to collect, or put together.)

LEGO by the numbers:

  • 75 billion bricks are sold annually in more than 140 countries
  • 19,000 employees from around the world are employed by LEGO
  • There are 3,700 different types of LEGO bricks
  • There are more than 915 million ways to combine six two by four LEGO bricks

Since it was founded in 1932, The LEGO Group has always promoted play and creativity. That philosophy has extended to their marketing campaigns as well, and they’ve embraced experimentation with various branding techniques.

For more on how companies can get creative with marketing, check out our conversation with Beth Comstock. ⤵️

Marketing Trends
Beth Comstock: The Power of Change And How To Spur Creativity

Beth Comstock is the former CMO of GE and the author of Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change.

In this interview, Chad and Beth talk about how to stop tribalism in your business, her experiences at GE, and the writing process behind her new book. They also discuss frameworks for creativity and storytelling, and how she budgets for experimental campaigns.

Deep Dive
5 Reasons The LEGO Movie Is The Greatest Branded Content Ever

“The LEGO Movie presents a fantastic lesson for marketers to understand how toreignite an old brand, understand and leverage marketing for sales, and set yourself up as a leader and not merely a follower riding on the brands of others.”

Read the article.

Bookmark This
Hero’s Journey – The LEGO Movie

Still don’t believe The Hero’s Journey is everywhere?

Check out how the framework directly outlines the course of The Lego Movie.

One Way To Make $$$

Not sure what to do with the thousands of LEGO pieces in the attic? They might be worth a pretty penny. Read: The Ultimate LEGO Selling Guide
Chromebook Giveaway
One Way To Not Spend $$$

Why buy a new computer when you could win a new computer? 🖥

Enter to win a new touchscreen Chromebook Spin 13!

Sign Off 👋
Happy Monday!

Welcome back! We hope you had a relaxing, recharging weekend. 🤗

Tweet us your favorite LEGO creations 👉 @TheMissionHQ.


Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 shows anti-corruption efforts stalled in most countries – Transparency International

via Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 shows anti-corruption efforts stalled in most countries – Transparency International



Analysis reveals corruption contributing to a global crisis of democracy

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

Translations: AR | RU | PT | FR | ES


The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International reveals that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world.

“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe – often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies – we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International. “Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”

The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). To view the results, visit: www.transparency.org/cpi2018


More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of only 43. Since 2012, only 20 countries have significantly improved their scores, including Estonia and Côte D’Ivoire, and 16 have significantly declined, including, Australia, Chile and Malta.

Denmark and New Zealand top the Index with 88 and 87 points, respectively. Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria are at the bottom of the index, with 10, 13 and 13 points, respectively. The highest scoring region is Western Europe and the European Union, with an average score of 66, while the lowest scoring regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 35).


Cross analysis with global democracy data reveals a link between corruption and the health of democracies. Full democracies score an average of 75 on the CPI; flawed democracies score an average of 49; hybrid regimes – which show elements of autocratic tendencies – score 35; autocratic regimes perform worst, with an average score of just 30 on the CPI.

Exemplifying this trend, the CPI scores for Hungary and Turkey decreased by eight and nine points respectively over the last five years. At the same time, Turkey was downgraded from ‘partly free’ to ‘not free’, while Hungary registered its lowest score for political rights since the fall of communism in 1989. These ratings reflect the deterioration of rule of law and democratic institutions, as well as a rapidly shrinking space for civil society and independent media, in those countries.

More generally, countries with high levels of corruption can be dangerous places for political opponents. Practically all of the countries where political killings are ordered or condoned by the government are rated as highly corrupt on the CPI.


With a score of 71, the United States lost four points since last year, dropping out of the top 20 countries on the CPI for the first time since 2011. The low score comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.

Brazil dropped two points since last year to 35, also earning its lowest CPI score in seven years. Alongside promises to end corruption, the country’s new president has made it clear that he will rule with a strong hand, threatening many of the democratic milestones achieved by the country.

“Our research makes a clear link between having a healthy democracy and successfully fighting public sector corruption,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. “Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage.”

To make real progress against corruption and strengthen democracy around the world, Transparency International calls on all governments to:

  • strengthen the institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power, and ensure their ability to operate without intimidation;
  • close the implementation gap between anti-corruption legislation, practice and enforcement;
  • support civil society organisations which enhance political engagement and public oversight over government spending, particularly at the local level;
  • support a free and independent media, and ensure the safety of journalists and their ability to work without intimidation or harassment.

Notes to editors

Our cross analysis of the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index related to the global crisis of democracy incorporates data from the Democracy Index produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the Freedom in the World Index produced by Freedom House and the Annual Democracy Report produced by Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem).

About Transparency International

Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption for the last 25 years. Join our efforts at transparency.org.

About the Corruption Perceptions Index

Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International’s flagship research product, has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The index offers an annual snapshot of the relative degree of corruption by ranking countries and territories from all over the globe. In 2012, Transparency International revised the methodology used to construct the index to allow for comparison of scores from one year to the next. For more information, visit www.transparency.org/research/cpi.


The UPS Approach to Giving After Disasters | Longitudes

January 27, 2019|LogisticsSustainability
The UPS Approach to Giving After Disasters
Strategic philanthropy helps a company’s reputation and brand, but if you really want to mobilize an organization, you need to go further.

Eduardo Martinez | The UPS Foundation
One of the biggest needs after a disaster is logistics – getting food, water, medicine and other supplies to the affected region.

UPS has leveraged its expertise to become a leader in the field, routinely winning awards for its contributions around the world.

Eduardo Martinez, the president of the UPS Foundation and UPS’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, spoke with Harvard Business Review about how the company maximizes the benefits of its work. Edited excerpts follow.

HBR: What has UPS learned from years of responding to disasters?

Martinez: We focus not just on disaster relief but also on preparedness, post-crisis recovery and supply chain logistics. We need to play to our strengths to have a multiplier effect.

Share“Private sector firms can help make smaller companies more resilient.”
This is not sudden onset activity that starts when there’s a disaster. We devote funding, expertise, and engagement to it year round.

HBR: UPS is a logistics company so it’s obvious how it can help. What about an accounting or consulting firm?

Martinez: Every private sector company can play a role.

Humanitarian relief agencies need consultancy and technology support. And companies operating in at-risk areas need to become more resilient.

A study in New York City after Hurricane Sandy found that 30 percent to 40 percent of the small and medium-sized businesses affected by the storm never came back.

Some communities have appointed “resiliency officers,” who coordinate efforts to help companies survive disasters. Private sector firms can help with endeavors to make smaller companies more resilient.

HBR: Do firms ever “help” in ways that are counterproductive?

Martinez: That’s a classic problem. After the Haiti earthquake we got a call from a global customer of ours looking to donate thermal blankets – in July, in the tropics.

Whenever we get a call from a company offering to send something, we say, “Thank you, hold on, let’s check with the people on the front lines.”

If there’s no need for what the company is offering, we’ll explain what is needed – water, tents and lanterns. We manage our customers in this way so that we don’t clog the supply chain.

HBR: What else should companies keep in mind?

Martinez: Not every disaster is a global event. Much of what we do involves local mobilization.

There was severe flooding in India recently, but it hasn’t attracted global attention. There has been another Ebola outbreak. The California fires aren’t always in the news.

We try to stay tied into events around the world whether they become a big story or not.

HBR: How has technology changed the way you respond?

Martinez: It helps us be more effective. We have used drones to deliver vaccines and blood supplies in Rwanda, sometimes making more than 50 deliveries a day.

We’re using scanners and cards to track and distribute food to Syrian refugees. Before that, pen and paper were being used to track distributions to camps with 200,000 people.

Share“Not every disaster is a global event. Effective disaster relief involves local mobilization.”
The new system ensures that everyone gets the right nutrition, and it has reduced lines, spoilage, hoarding and reselling.

HBR: What does UPS get in return for this work?

Martinez: Strategic philanthropy helps a company’s reputation and brand, but if you really want to mobilize an organization, you need to go further.

We’re learning as a business from these efforts – for instance, the Rwanda drone project gives us experience with a new technology. We’re becoming acquainted with different cultures and how to work in different markets.

We’re also inspiring our people. Companies that do this work to generate nice headlines leave a lot of value on the table.

This Q&A originally appeared on Harvard Business Review and was republished with permission.

Subscribe to Longitudes
Every morning, wake up to the blog that gives you the latest trends shaping tomorrow.

Eduardo Martinez is President of the UPS Foundation and UPS’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, He is responsible for the operations and management of UPS’s global philanthropic, employee engagement, corporate relations and diversity and inclusion programs.
Click the RSS icon to subscribe to future articles by this author.

via The UPS Approach to Giving After Disasters | Longitudes


Why the Milkman Model Is the Future of Consumption | Longitudes

via Why the Milkman Model Is the Future of Consumption | Longitudes


Why the Milkman Model Is the Future of Consumption

Loop™ positions customers as partners in reducing package waste and shows the power of innovation to move us closer to a greener future.

A cultural shift is changing how businesses operate – and interact with customers.

This seismic change was on full display at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where I participated in a thought-provoking event on the future of consumer goods.

Put simply: We saw the power of the circular economy in action. And we saw that what’s old is new again.

I’ll explain.

Thinking outside the box

We announced there our participation in a coalition of the world’s largest consumer product companies, led by international recycling leader TerraCycle.

Pullquote share icon.ShareLoop is a breakthrough system that can reduce disposable packaging.

Together, we unveiled an innovative new system designed to reduce single-use product packaging.Known as Loop™, this breakthrough systemprovides consumers with direct delivery of a variety of products. The packages arrive not in a cardboard box – but in a customized, durable tote that can be reused again and again.

The products are designed for delivery, then collected, cleaned, refilled and redelivered. It’s an exciting step toward reducing the use of disposable packaging and cardboard boxes.

TerraCycle is launching a pilot program in New York and Paris to fine tune efforts before wider deployment.

This is a creative solution helping to shape how consumer goods companies interact with customers. This new system positions customers as partners in reducing package waste and shows the power of innovation to move us closer to a greener future.

UPS engineers have teamed up with TerraCycle to design and test a first-of-its-kind reusable tote for consumer goods. Watch the video above to learn more about Loop™.

Embracing new roles

Pullquote share icon.ShareWe’ve pushed past traditional logistics models to address the new e-commerce economy.

UPS has a longstanding commitment to environmental efforts. As supply chains shift from linear, single direction systems toward a circular economy, UPS has created product return and reverse logistics solutions for customers, resulting in a measurable impact on waste, emissions and the bottom line.We’ve pushed past traditional logistics models to address the new e-commerce economy, using technology to help residential customers control their home deliveries while eliminating wasted delivery attempts – and the carbon emissionsthat come with them.

This latest engagement emerged from both of our companies embracing new roles. UPS has long been a TerraCycle logistics provider, helping the company address the complexities of moving goods across global borders.

When TerraCycle presented the Loop concept, the UPS Package Design and Test Labincorporated insights gathered from thousands of packaging tests to help design the new approach. The engineers at the UPS Lab implemented rigorous real-world shipment tests to gather knowledge that shaped the design of the final product.

A nod to the milkman 

The result?

A consumer-friendly container with enough durability to stand up to the rigors of daily life. As testing proceeds, customers will become partners in the program, helping to gather data and provide important perspectives about the overall experience.

For the consumer goods companies, this is a bold journey into the unknown.

Or is it?

For those old enough to remember, there was a time when milk deliveries followed a similar model. The milkman would bring glass bottles filled with milk and collect the empty bottles left by the customer.

The bottles and the milk box were neither the property nor the burden of the customer. And honestly, it made sense.

This is the future of consumer goods – even if it takes a page out of our seemingly distant past.

[Top image: Joel Kramer/Flickr CC BY 2.0]

Kate Gutmann is Chief Sales and Solutions Officer at UPS. In this role, she is responsible for global sales, solutions and customer-engagement strategies. She also has management responsibility for UPS Capital, a subsidiary that provides supply chain financial, insurance and payment solutions, as well as The UPS Store, the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers.Click the RSS icon to subscribe to future articles by this author. RSS Feed


4 Types of Leaders Who Will Thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution | Longitudes

via 4 Types of Leaders Who Will Thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution | Longitudes

 Types of Leaders Who Will Thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Research shows that high-growth companies successfully find the balance between doing good and making a profit.

A year ago 86 percent of C-level executives in Deloitte’s first report exploring business readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution said their organizations were doing “all they could” to create a workforce for Industry 4.0. This year fewer than half – 47 percent – said the same.

That represents not only a stunning shift in attitudes but also a welcome one. It tells me executives are gaining a much deeper understanding of Industry 4.0, are increasingly aware of the challenges before them and are viewing the actions needed to succeed in Industry 4.0 more realistically.

Pullquote share icon.ShareFour distinct leadership personascan help global leaders tackle digital transformation.

Deloitte’s second report on Industry 4.0 readiness, Leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Faces of Progress, again asked executives how they are enabling their organizations to succeed in four areas: society, strategy, technology and talent.

In addition to our search for year-to-year trends, though, we also aimed to uncover how leaders are moving forward, where they are making the most progress and what sets the most effective leaders apart.

While many executives continue to struggle with navigating the complexity of Industry 4.0, certain leaders are getting it right.

We found four distinct leadership personas that we believe can provide guideposts for executives and serve as models for leaders around the world as they tackle the challenges associated with digital transformation.

Before I explore those personas, though, it’s helpful to understand the survey’s key findings.

Poor leadership could be the biggest barrier to a successful Fourth Industrial Revolution strategy. [Image: Deloitte]

A genuine commitment 

Executives expressed a genuine commitment to improving the world. Leaders rated societal impact as the most important factor when evaluating their organization’s annual performance, ahead of financial performance and customer or employee satisfaction.

In the past year, nearly three-fourths of respondents said their organizations had taken steps to make or change products or services with societal impact in mind. Many are motivated by the promise of new revenue and growth.

Executives are struggling to develop effective strategies in today’s rapidly changing markets. Faced with an ever-increasing array of new technologies, leaders said they had difficulty understanding all the new technology-driven opportunities, and in some cases they lack the strategic vision to guide their efforts.

Many leaders reported that their companies don’t follow clearly defined decision-making processes and that organizational silos limit their abilities to develop and share knowledge to implement effective strategies.

Leaders continue to focus more on using advanced technologies to protect their positions than on making bold investments to drive disruption. Many C-level executives are seeing payoffs from their investments in technology, but others are finding it difficult to move forward.

Challenges include being too focused on short-term results, not fully understanding Industry 4.0 technologies and too many technology choices. Leaders acknowledged the ethical implications inherent in new technology, but few companies are putting policies in place to manage those threats.

The skills gap

The skills challenge has become clearer. The breadth of the skills gap is more evident to leaders, as is a sobering awareness that current education systems will be inadequate to meet the challenge.

Pullquote share icon.ShareLeaders and young employees differ on which skills are most needed and who is responsible for developing them.

Nearly twice as many leaders said their organizations will strive to train existing employees rather than look to hire new ones. But research from Deloitte’s annual Millennial Survey suggests that leaders and young employees differ on which skills are most needed and who is responsible for developing them.

With those findings as context, we found some leaders are making better progress than others in dealing with challenges within the areas of society, strategy, technology and talent.

We grouped the leaders who seem to be getting it right into these four personas:

Social Supers

Certain leaders stand out for their ability to do well by doing good. These Social Supers consider social initiatives fundamental to their businesses, and their optimism about creating societal impact influences their outlook in several ways.

They were more likely to say their workforce composition is prepared for digital transformation and far more willing to train their workers. Companies with leaders who identify as Social Supers are also growing more than those who haven’t successfully found the balance between doing good and making a profit.

Data-Driven Decisives

Some C-level executives are overcoming challenges by taking methodical, data-focused approaches to strategic decision making.

These Data-Driven Decisives are almost twice as likely to say they’re prepared to capitalize on Industry 4.0 opportunities, and their organizations are already reaping the economic benefits of embracing Industry 4.0.

In the past year, almost half of such organizations generated annual revenue growth of 5 percent or more while only a quarter of other organizations saw such results.

Disruption Drivers 

These leaders understand that investments in disruptive innovations set their organizations apart from competitors.

Pullquote share icon.ShareSome C-level executives are overcoming challenges by taking methodical, data-focused approaches.

They are confident, which gives them an advantage when coping with the unknowns of Industry 4.0 because more assured organizations will be better prepared to implement disruptivetechnologies.

Disruption Drivers’ organizations typically have more defined decision-making processes, and they are more likely to make data-driven decisions with input from diverse sets of stakeholders.

Talent Champions

These executives are preparing employees for digital transformation. They are more likely than others to invest in employee retraining for the future of work.

And while doing so, the Talent Champions are also committed to societal impact and are seeing early returns from their progressive efforts – and 64 percent have already generated new revenue streams for their organizations through socially driven initiatives.

This article originally appeared on World Economic Forum and was republished with permission.

Punit Renjen is CEO of Deloitte Global. Deloitte operates in 150 countries with more than 286,000 professionals. He is in his 32nd year with the Deloitte organization.Click the RSS icon to subscribe to future articles by this author. RSS Feed


What It Means to Be a Global CEO | Longitudes

via What It Means to Be a Global CEO | Longitudes

What It Means to Be a Global CEO

CEOs must change the way they lead their companies and expand the way they think about their roles.

For the past six years, I’ve been honored to serve as Ernst & Young Global Chairman and CEO. My time at EY – including nearly a dozen years on our global executive board – has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Next summer I’ll step down from my position, and so as I attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting for my final time as CEO, I’ve been reflecting on how the conversation in Davos has evolved over the years – and what that says about the changing role of a global CEO in the 21st century.

It’s an understatement to say the world has changed since I took over as CEO in 2013. For example, at one of the first Davos meetings I attended, it seemed like everyone was talking about the potential of new regional trade agreements to drive shared prosperity.

Now many are talking about a potential reshuffling of the entire world order. So the stakes are getting much higher.

Meanwhile, many of the challenges we faced early in my tenure – from rising income inequality to declining trust in institutions – have not changed. Rather, in an age of rapid technological progress and transformative disruption, they have grown even greater and more urgent.

Today’s CEOs have to constantly think about how to improve their business models while simultaneously navigating fast-paced, massive disruption of industries and businesses and a strong undercurrent of uncertainty running through societies around the world.

Pullquote share icon.ShareToday’s CEOs have to improve their business models while simultaneously navigating fast-paced disruption.

These growing challenges have made it increasingly necessary for global CEOs to adapt the way they lead their companies and ultimately, to expand the way they think about their roles.

CEOs are accountable for more than financial success

Based on my experience at EY and countless conversations with business and government leaders around the world, I argued a few years ago that the role of the CEO had to evolve.

In a previous generation, it was often enough for CEOs to succeed by charting a course by themselves, then expecting people to follow it. If the business executed well, the CEO would be rewarded. But that’s not the case anymore.

Today businesses are accountable to an increasing number of stakeholders – and everyone from employees to board members are looking to CEOs for a clearer sense of not just where they’re going but why.

That means we need to communicate our vision to stakeholders and convince them we’re on the right path. Just as importantly, we need to communicate our companies’ values – and we have to back them up with measurable and verifiable action.

Why? Because now CEOs speak on behalf of more people than ever, and we’re held accountable in more public ways.

New pressures

With social media, virtually everything a CEO says or does can be instantaneouslyscrutinized and has the potential to spark a controversy. And in a divisive political climate, our people, our clients and our customers increasingly expect us to speak out publicly when issues arise that conflict with the stated values of our companies.

In the last few years, we’ve all seen the pressure businesses have faced when they’ve been perceived to stand on the wrong side of one issue or another. It all impacts an organization’s brand, which is an increasingly important currency.

Pullquote share icon.ShareCEOs must communicate their company’s values – and back them up with measurable and verifiable action.

This was on my mind when I joined the White House’s Business Advisory Council in 2017. I joined because I believe it’s important to remain engaged with our political leaders. It offered a direct avenue for input and to make important concerns heard.

As a general rule, I think it’s better to be in the room bringing your experience and voice to the debate than outside the room offering criticism. That’s why, although the Council eventually disbanded, I continue to spend a significant amount of time representing EY in public-public initiatives at the global, national and community level.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that CEOs should act like politicians who espouse their views on purely political or partisan debates. But when there are issues that affect our business or conflict with our values as an organization, we need to have a voice in the conversation.

In today’s global economy, that means CEOs can’t separate traditional “business” issues like trade from issues like immigration or gender equality. These issues also profoundlyaffect our businesses, our people and the communities in which we operate.

If we don’t make it clear where we stand, we risk losing the trust of our stakeholders and in some cases, their business. Moreover, we weaken the sense of community our organizations need and undermine the very values we cherish.

The role of business in society 

Of course, this evolution is part of a broader shift in the role of business in society.

Until recently, it was widely accepted that a company’s primary responsibility was to create financial value for its shareholders. That’s who businesses and CEOs were almost exclusively accountable to. While there have always been companies that tried to create benefits for a wider range of stakeholders, this was typically seen as a way to stand out from the pack – not a basic expectation or requirement for success.

In today’s rapidly changing world, however, companies have to create value for many stakeholders to succeed. Shareholder value is still critically important – but isn’t separate from a company’s impact on its people, its communities and more.

Businesses can fulfill this responsibility in a number of ways. For example, perhaps the most valuable investments any business can make is in its own people. Employees are the ones who execute a company’s strategy, determine its culture and serve as ambassadorsto customers and their communities.

They look to their employers to educate and empower them – which is why, on an annual basis, EY invests approximately $500 million and more than 13 million hours in employee development and education.

This is on top of the important experiential learning and mentoring that’s also provided. We’ve also introduced digital credentials known as EY Badges to help people develop skills related to emerging technologies that will benefit them throughout their careers.

Pullquote share icon.ShareShareholder value is still important – but isn’t separate from a company’s impact on people and communities.

Businesses can also increase their social impact by sponsoring educational, mentoring and other community initiatives with other organizations. With a new initiative called EY Ripples, for example, we’re working to help young people gain skills and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.

By 2022, our goal is to mobilize more than 1 million of our own people and networks to make a direct impact on 10 million people and organizations.

In each case, creating stakeholder value isn’t just a nice thing for businesses to do but rather a strategic imperative that ultimately benefits their shareholders, too.

When companies invest in their people or communities, it doesn’t just create new opportunities for those who directly benefit. It also helps build a stronger workforce and a better overall business environment, creating a win-win for stakeholders and shareholdersalike.

It’s time for the next generation of CEOs to lead

As I reflect on my time as CEO, it’s remarkable to consider how much the world has changed – and how much the expectations of global businesses have changed along with it.

In an era of transformation and uncertainty, people around the world are looking to the business community for leadership.

It’s time for the next generation of CEOs to rise to the challenge. Our license to lead depends on it.

This article originally appeared on World Economic Forum and was republished with permission.

[Top Image: Burst/Pexels]

Mark Weinberger is the Global Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young, one of the largest professional services organizations in the world with approximately 260,000 people in more than 150 countries. He previously served as the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury (Tax Policy) in the George W. Bush Administration.Click the RSS icon to subscribe to future articles by this author. RSS Feed


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