The financial stories that hit the headlines tend to be those involving global developments or macroeconomic issues: the impact of quantitative easing, low interest rates, rolling waves of regulation and the like. These are traditional and familiar challenges. Nevertheless, the context in which they must be tackled is constantly changing, so the response must change too.
There’s no doubt that strategic thinking is increasingly vital. Technology is evolving more quickly than ever. Reliance on social media is becoming ubiquitous, not only for casual conversation but also for corporate communication and business processes. Consumers are increasingly demanding constant, online access to every service. In turn, the explosive growth of information technology and communication is generating vast quantities of data about customers, markets, products and preferences – which will be invaluable to those companies that learn to exploit it. And these trends are accelerating.
It is easy to argue for greater foresight, strategic thinking and preparedness. But it is far from clear how to actually begin engaging with the ‘unknown unknowns’. It is this topic through the lens of finding competitive advantage that the articles within this issue of Frontiers attempt to tackle.
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