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The new wave of innovation is cause for business optimism about 2021

The new wave of innovation is cause for business optimism about 2021

Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on what corporate business leaders are thinking during the global coronavirus crisis:

Should businesses be pessimistic or optimistic about 2021?

It's easy to be gloomy about the year ahead when faced with the realities of a cold, bleak winter in much of the world. Add to that lockdowns across Europe, surging case numbers and hospitalizations, and dreadful events in the Capitol in the US to name a few reasons for pessimism. But I think there is a case for optimism when it comes to this year. After all, it's true to say that it's always darkest before the dawn, and my conversations with business leaders suggest there are reasons to be positive by 2021.

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RNC shows how Trump has transformed GOP

RNC shows how Trump has transformed GOP

Jon Lieber, Eurasia Group's head of research and managing director for the firm's coverage of United States political and policy developments, shares his perspective on US politics from Washington, DC.

What we're watching in US Politics this week: Trump's utter dominance of the GOP at the just-concluded convention.

So the Republican convention just wrapped up and a very different tone and style of the last several conventions. And particularly, you know, you were knocked out in 1992 and woke up today, you probably wouldn't recognize this Republican Party at all.

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Why Trump really wanted JD Vance as running mate

Why Trump really wanted JD Vance as running mate

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How did JD Vance, who once called Trump “America's Hitler,” become his VP pick?

Well, of course, that isn't exactly what he said. He said that he goes back and forth between thinking that Trump is either a cynical asshole like Richard Nixon, who could actually be good for the country, or he could be America's Hitler. How come no one's actually reporting the actual quote? And it's because the media's freaking horrible is why. And because the algorithms promote stupidity and fake news, and disinformation. But the answer to the question is because Vance is really smart, very aligned with Trump. He's very, let's say, situationally ideological and wants to win, doesn't bring a lot of votes for Trump, but Trump doesn’t think he needs them. Last time around, when Trump was running and picked Mike Pence, he was looking for an establishment figure that would get him more votes and that would make Trump seem more approachable and attractive to a larger group of voters. Trump now thinks he can win the election either way, so he's picking the person he really wants. That's what's going on.

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Biden and Trump both betting debates will make the other look bad

Biden and Trump both betting debates will make the other look bad

Jon Lieber, Eurasia Group's head of research and managing director for the firm's coverage of United States political and policy developments, shares his perspective on US politics from Washington, DC.

What we're watching in US Politics this week? The big story is the debates.

The debate about the debates was going to be a prolonged affair given some uncertainty about either candidate's desire to face off against each other. And while earlier in this week it looked possible that the US might not have any presidential debates the first time in recent memory. Instead, now we know we're going to have at least two, one in June and one in September.

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Trump's pick for VP: JD Vance

Trump's pick for VP: JD Vance

Jon Lieber, Eurasia Group's head of research and managing director for the firm's coverage of United States political and policy developments, shares his perspective on US politics from Washington, DC.

President Trump has made his VP selection, JD Vance, Senator from Ohio, a 39-year-old who rose to prominence as the author of a book explaining the troubles of the white working class who voted for Trump in 2016, to a much broader population of Americans who were at the time, struggling to understand how Trump pulled off his surprising victory. Vance then reinvented himself as an investor and then a prominent Trump critic, warning about Trump's dangers to America, and saying that he is America's Hitler. And then went on to reinvent himself yet again as a populist champion of the working class, running for Senate in the seat he ended up winning.

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Will the Trump attack shift GOP approach at the RNC?

Will the Trump attack shift GOP approach at the RNC?

Jon Lieber, Eurasia Group's head of research and managing director for the firm's coverage of United States political and policy developments, shares his perspective on US politics from Washington, DC.

What we're watching in US Politics this week: The Republican National Convention after an assassination attempt on Donald Trump.

Wild weekend with the first assassination attempt in over 40 years against President Donald Trump, former President Donald Trump, this weekend that barely missed lodging a bullet in the back of his brain by several inches. That could have been a history-altering shot if it hadn't missed. And Trump was lucky to get out alive. But he also was able to rally his supporters and the base of the Republican Party behind him. And we're seeing that online this weekend, which is great timing for President Trump as he begins the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Why big business should help small business - and how
Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on what corporate business leaders are thinking during the global coronavirus crisis

Should big business care about small business in these times?

The answer is yes and for many reasons. First, small business is the lifeblood of our economies. 45% of employment in emerging countries and 70% in the OECD comes from small and medium enterprises. Moreover, these enterprises have been badly hit by the crisis. Surveys indicate as many as 50% of European small to medium enterprises feel they may not survive over 12 months. While SMEs are relying on government support, larger companies do have a role to play. After all, this includes prioritizing small business and procurement by locking in demand for multiple years, thus facilitating access to good credit, paying receivables to small business in time and where possible, ahead of schedule. Cash flow matters most when you're small. Looking out for small businesses that have lower resilience. For example, financial institutions can lend more and in doing so, ensure deeper customer relationships in the future.

Hurdles to bringing a COVID-19 vaccine to market

Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey, looks at the challenges around a COVID-19 vaccine from the corporate business leadership perspective on Business In 60 Seconds.

What will it take to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to market?

Now, there are reasons to believe that a COVID-19 vaccine can indeed be developed faster than any other in history. For a start, the characteristics of this virus, unlike some families of viruses, coronaviruses overall have been shown to mutate at relatively low to moderate rates. Moreover, the sheer number of development efforts mean that over 275 vaccine candidates in development, with over 45 already in clinical trials. This is coupled with unprecedented access to funding, given over $17 billion has been committed to vaccine development and supply. That said, there are multiple hurdles to overcome. They start with getting the science right, including validating the platform technologies and demonstrating both safety and efficacy. But let's not forget that we also need enough capacity to manufacture and supply in place to reach patient populations now, and over time. And last, but by no means least, people need to be willing to be vaccinated. In the US in May, 72% of Americans said they would get vaccinated. That number has fallen to 51% in September.

2021 opportunities & threats: inequality, mental health, environment

Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on what corporate business leaders are thinking during the global coronavirus crisis:

What are the opportunities and threats on the horizon for 2021?

Now, given the pandemic is still raging, it's hard to narrow the threats and opportunities down, but here are three threats and three opportunities. One, a growing likelihood of increased inequality on several fronts. Gender, since a quarter of women in work we recently did with LeanIn.org were either contemplating leaving or taking time out of the workforce. This reached 40% for those with young children. Race, since Black Americans have seen their jobs disappear at a far greater rate than their white counterparts. And income, since COVID deaths are 4 to 5 times higher among the unemployed and are concentrated in jobs that have been hardest hit. The second threat, mental health. The signs are increasing that this is the other side of the health threat that the virus poses. And three, the environment. They need to ensure a green rather than brown recovery at a time when money is tight.

On the opportunities, first off, flexibility in working through remote and other forms of working that are now happening. Secondly, innovation; we've seen more startups this year being started than in any year before. And lastly, the environment; for all that I said there is a risk of a brown recovery, policy makers and businesses alike in much of the world assuring they're prepared to invest behind the business case for a green recovery.

Balancing long-term business strategy with short-term needs

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how corporate business leaders think in response to the coronavirus crisis:

Why is managing for the long term difficult?

Well, we know from earlier research that companies that are oriented towards long-term performance, rather than short-term targets, generate more shareholder value, create more jobs, and contribute more economic growth. But we are seeing short-term behaviors, like cutting costs to boost quarterly earnings, have become more common in the past few years. Executives say they face heavy pressure from investors, and even fellow directors, to meet quarterly targets. And recently, disruptions from COVID-19 give executives more short-term issues to deal with. Now let me be clear, short-term results do matter. They're needed to stay credible. However, trouble happens when short-termism ensures focus in quarterly earnings, which have little to do with long-term value creation. It's far more important to pursue steady improvements, and fundamentals like growth, and return on invested capital.

5 steps for planning 2021 budgets amid uncertainty

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how corporate business leaders think in response to the coronavirus crisis:

How can business leaders approach budget planning for 2021 when the environment is so uncertain?

In short, I believe that the planning process for 2021 presents an opportunity to turn hard earned lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. It's an enduring exercise that links strategy to value. Now, five steps are needed for this to happen.

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How has the pandemic influenced climate action?

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how the pandemic has influenced climate action:

Has the pandemic helped or harmed efforts to tackle climate change?

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How COVID is changing consumer behavior

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how corporate business leaders think in response to the coronavirus crisis:

What does the next normal consumer look like?

COVID-19 is changing how consumers behave across every aspect of their lives. A few examples. Overall, consumption is declining. 12% drop in private consumption is anticipated in the US over the next two years. 35% of Netflix subscribers now use Netflix for educational content. And over 40% of consumers are watching more TV, 40% more social media. But beneath these broad shifts, new behaviors are hiding significant variation. One example, for all the excitement around online shopping, not everyone liked the experience. 60% of Italian consumers shopped online during the crisis, a dramatic increase, but less than 10% said that they found the experience satisfying.

The result? Companies need to rethink their engagement with consumers and specifically reflect on the following, how consumers get their information, meet them where they are, not where they used to be, where consumers purchase, given a rebalancing of the channels that they use, and understand what they value in the shopping experience. Online shopping can certainly be efficient. And when there are no other alternatives, it can even be exciting. But it can also be deadly dull and often frustrating. Reengineering that experience is therefore key.

Three steps to get remote & hybrid learning right

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how corporate business leaders think in response to the coronavirus crisis:

How do we get remote and hybrid learning right?

For many, this is the back to school season. But this year's preparations are fraught with added anxiety as educators, public health officials, and parents try to balance the need to reduce the spread of the virus with a desire to get students into more productive learning environments. For many students, a full time return to the classroom will not be safe for some time. It's important to understand three lessons in order to get remote and hybrid learning right.

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