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What's the next "gray rhino" after COVID? We discuss the key forces that can shock your business — and how to identify and prepare for them.
In our Forecast 2021 podcast series, we’re focused on preparing you for the year ahead by offering insights to help you better understand and manage some of the opportunities and challenges that your company might face—think policy, technology, and other big picture topics.
This week we focus on the global forces that are shaking up businesses. Craig Stronberg, who leads PwC’s Intelligence team advising global and firm leadership on macroeconomic and geopolitical events, is back in the guest seat to discuss how to prepare for forces that test your business’ resiliency.
Topics include:
  • 1:01 - Tectonic forces. Geologists study tectonic plates to predict and learn about earthquakes. Companies should study the tectonic forces that affect business to predict and be prepared for the next shock wave.
  • 7:43 - Key forces at play. Craig explains that powerful forces were accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic: inequity, nationalism, global governance, and distrust. They generally manifest negative reactions, but social justice and empowerment are major forces that have propelled positive change. Watch these closely.
  • 14:43 - Challenge your assumptions. Corporate officers are thinking more critically and creatively about the future than ever before. Forecast and estimate a range of possibilities, think about your blind spots, do not fail to imagine, and rethink your possibilities.
  • 21:29 - The next gray rhino. Look at your company’s postmortem state since the pandemic, and plan ahead for the next shock to your business. When the next gray rhino comes charging, you will be better prepared than your competitors.
  • 29:58 - How to be successful. Craig encourages companies to anticipate the effects of forces and dedicate a team to understanding the core business and focus on possible scenarios. You can start by using the ADAPT framework - read more on ADAPT below.
About our guest
Craig Stronberg leads the Macro Capability for PwC Intelligence, spearheading the team of analysts that provide macroeconomic and geopolitical intelligence to key stakeholders. Named as one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, Craig had a nearly 20-year career in national security affairs working for and advising numerous agencies and international partners, having been decorated five times. His focus is on numerous areas, including counterintelligence, economic espionage, counterterrorism, cyber threats, political-military issues, special operations integration, and support for major events, such as the Olympic Games.
About our host
Heather Horn is PwC’s National Office thought leader, responsible for developing our communications strategy and conveying firm positions on accounting and financial reporting matters. She is the engaging host of PwC’s accounting and reporting weekly podcast and quarterly webcast series, as well as periodic webcasts for the power and utilities industry. With nearly 30 years of experience, Heather’s accounting and auditing expertise includes financial instruments and rate-regulated accounting.
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