How to Build Sustainable Business Advantage in a World Where Great is No Longer Good Enough

Viewed in BCG

Management consulting leader BCG is known for being ahead of the curve in management and industry trends, and its reports very commonly help in understanding what companies should do to prepare for that future.

Three Major Disruptive Forces

This BCG report, based on the firm’s book Beyond Great, contends that three major disruptive forces are now driving 21st century business: social tension, economic nationalism, and technological revolution.

Grow, Operate and Organize

These forces, in turn, require that companies do three things: grow beyond, operate beyond, and organize beyond.

Evolving Objectives

What all this means, BCG argues, is that companies now face dramatically evolving objectives.

Successful companies now seek to augment the traditional objective of maximizing shareholder returns with the broader goal of delivering results for all company stakeholders.

That’s quite a change for most companies, requiring a sense of broader organizational purpose that is not always as easily quantified as traditional shareholder returns.

Digital Focus

In this new era, companies also will need to have a significant digital focus that transcends physical location.

Global markets need to be carefully selected with a focus on deepening market share in these respective locations. 

Digital focus also expands the potential for collaboration with partners that represent a digital ecosystem that can meet customer expectations.

Global Delivery

Global delivery systems also will face challenges in this new era to face more volatile supply and demand cycles, BCG contends. This will require low-cost hubs with high tech centers. 


Data will also prove essential in this new era and must be utilized in the development of value propositions for customers.  For data to prove of value, it must be strategically collected, stored, and analyzed.

Agile Organization

An agile workforce, designed to meet customer expectations, is essential in this new era. Talent recruitment will prove a top priority and personnel must be permitted to upscale their skill sets and grow for organizations to flourish. 

Change will be a centerpiece and the successful organization will be constantly prepared for it.


Finally, the new global era now confronting businesses requires a new style of leader who can help guide organizations through predictably uncertain times.

The global pandemic has proven hugely challenging and disruptive to companies.

While it may be unmatched in the uncertainty and questions it presented, its broader lesson is that 21st century leadership will require agile leaders who can manage through periods of unpredictability.

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