Strategy & Organization June 2010

Putting the Focus Back Where it Belongs – on Business

Results of Arthur D. Little’s 2010 global survey on the economic crisis

Putting the Focus Back Where it Belongs – on Business

Putting the Focus Back Where it Belongs – on Business

It is close to two years since the financial and economic crisis erupted with the dramatic collapse of Lehman Brothers. As our 2009 global survey revealed, companies have made unavoidable short-term cost reductions and taken measures for the future. It is now time to focus on the effectiveness of these measures. What actions taken during the crisis have resulted in enduring benefits?

To that end, Arthur D. Little has conducted a global survey among senior executives from companies of many different sizes and across all industries (please see insert for more about how the survey was conducted). This report provides a summary of the findings. In short, our conclusions are:

  • A large majority of executives (71 percent) expect business will return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2011, at the latest. This is a more prudent outlook compared to last year, when 84 percent of executives predicted such a result.
  • The notion of “new normal” has few adherents. Only a minority of executives (25 percent) estimates that future growth will be structurally lower than it was before the outbreak of the crisis.
  • In-crisis measures related to a company’s core operations are expected to have the most enduring benefits: lower working capital, higher productivity through lay-offs, re-engineered processes, higher capacity utilization through cutbacks, and a rationalized manufacturing and logistics footprint.
  • By far the most important factor holding back growth is hesitant consumer demand. Another major concern is the negative impact of government budget deficits on demand generated through public investments.
  • Executives clearly see innovation as the most important tool for outperforming competitors. Benefiting from a structurally stronger footing, the battlefront is once again where it should be — concentrating on customers.

Let’s look at each of these findings in more detail.

Search by keyword

Article Toolbar

Navigation« previous article|next article »


Download PDF , 636 KB

| |Bookmark Arthur D. Little