Convergence and diffusion: Finding partners in change

Convergence and diffusion: Finding partners in change

The lines separating industries, companies, technologies and customers are disappearing. KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook highlights CEOs’ realization that partnerships and alliances with start-ups, researchers, competitors and customers are critical to accelerate their business transformation journey.


KPMG International


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The results of KPMG’S 2016 Global CEO Outlook highlight a strong sentiment among top executives that new approaches are needed to face the business disruption and achieve effective business transformation.

These views come from a realization that the lines separating industries, companies, technologies and customers are disappearing.

“We are going to see far more collaboration between organizations taking place because of the need for speed and the realization that ‘rent’ or ‘collaborate’ is a viable and often preferable alternative to ‘build’ or ‘buy,’” says Nicholas Griffin, Global Head of the Global Strategy Group, KPMG International. “Companies will embrace the sharing economy in the next 3 to 5 years in the way that consumers have in the past few years.”

Accelerating transformation through partnerships

Companies are forming partnerships, alliances and joint ventures with start-ups and universities. Competitors may now be suppliers as well as customers, and all are becoming part of the innovation process. This results in a redefinition of power and responsibilities and the need for a different type of leadership.

“We are evolving towards a world where what’s inside the company and what’s outside is not binary. This means that as a CEO, you can’t have a proprietary or protective mindset. You need to be very comfortable with ambiguity and undefined spaces,” says Isabelle Allen, Global Head of Sales and Markets, KPMG International.

It is amid such shifting realities, CEOs are setting their short- and long-term strategies and executing them. With the global and national economies adding headwinds, CEOs’ concerns about meeting the demands of the future continue to increase. They are anxious about all angles of business disruption coming at their companies and ways to pre-empt them. They are also concerned if they are taking the lead in disruption themselves.

“Many CEOs I speak with have come to the realization that the critical issues their organization faces today are in areas they have little or no prior experience,” says Pedro Melo, Chairman, KPMG in Brazil. “They are looking at alternative arrangements such as joint ventures, alliances and partnerships with other companies to respond to market changes in a more timely manner.”

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© 2016 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.

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