Politics and business walk hand in hand. This is true both on a local level and in a global setting.
During times of uncertainty, business leaders must be ready to anticipate events that are outside their geopolitical region - for example, US government’s actions can impact the homes in Berlin, Paris, and London. More importantly, business leaders must learn how to be resilient in the face of uncertainty and change.
More than ever, training houses must help in developing business leaders with frameworks and analytical tools that help them sift through what is noise and what’s really important.
Learning how to place an isolated event in a broader context is a very important skill.
According to Dr. Robert Falkner, it's not just about teaching Geopolitics 101, but rather teaching leaders how to use knowledge and data for anticipating global trends. Falkner is the Academic Director of TRIUM Executive MBA program in London School of Economics.
The program was formally launched during the turn of the millennium. In the past 16 years, the program has coached senior executives in the midst of dramatic global changes.
TRIUM is built on a platform with social political analysis as its core program, and it's the first of its kind.
Falker believes that a major theme in TRIUM's program is all about analyzing global power shifts.
Back in 2001, the US was the undisputed main seat of power. As time moved towards 2010, China began to challenge the US's position. The financial crisis in 2008-2009 exposed how Western economies weren’t immune to vulnerabilities. At the time, emerging economies took the front seat and helped the world's economy move forward. In TRIUM, events like this are the main focus.
Faulkner estimates that 1/4 of the Global Fortuna 500 will be composed of companies from China in the next 10 years. It's one of the reasons why TRIUM's program emphasizes with deal-making in Asia and the need to understand the social and political environment of said region.
While TRIUM may have long-term predictions, it does not bypass the short-term analysis.
Back in the 1980s, it was predicted that Japan would take over the world's economy. In the 1990s, the prediction turned to China. TRIUM is not just about looking for data that supports the China prediction, but also balances itself out by looking for indicators of the opposite - for example, TRIUM considers the fact China's labor costs are rising rapidly, in effect, businesses may start looking for other countries offering cheaper labor.
Presently, prime candidates may be Turkey and Vietnam. TRIUM’s students are now being exposed to the possibility of Africa's rise. They’re surveying South Africa to have a better understanding of opportunities and risks from the region.
According to Faulkner, a large part of TRIUM's program is all about challenging common "wisdom" and encouraging open-mindedness and thoughtfulness.
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