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Moving through change

Three short words that sum up the economic trends of the past thirty years and set out the strategies for the future. 

Businesses have to keep moving in a world which is constantly evolving, changing and mutating, often without warning. The same conditions also apply to manufacturing organisations which are said, apparently, to have narrow horizons. “Dynamics of global competition” by Luca Ceccato (dissertation for degree course in International Economics at the “Marco Fanno” Faculty of Economic and Organisational Sciences, University of Padova) is an excellent handbook for business people and managers, a kind of mini almanac to help them navigate their way through change.

The book itself examines how the international economy has evolved in recent years, framing its analysis around the work of the McKinsey Global Institute. Ceccato begins by stating his premise that, in the last thirty years, “the dynamics have changed considerably, primarily on account of technological development and the expansion of international trade. This has made market competition increasingly fierce (also generating turbulence) and created growing downward pressure on marginal costs. He focuses particularly on the “role of technology”, seeing it as an “enormous and unavoidable part of being competitive”.

From this starting point, the book looks first at the basics of macroeconomics then at the business side. It closes with a chapter on forecasts for 2025, from a quantitative then qualitative perspective, in which the core concept seems to be “speed”.

“A purely defensive strategy,” Ceccato writes, “cannot protect a business from an increasingly global and more dynamic context. A healthy dose of optimism, a clear vision and constant speed can bring promising results, even in an increasingly crowded battlefield. This leads into the strategies to be implemented, based on the ability to understand and control change, to be prepared for “technological subversion”, to find the right investors, to become “agile enough to cope with volatility”, to build “proprietary intellectual assets”, to be always scouting for new talent, prepared to deal with increasing pressure on the labour market, to support the creation of surpluses for consumption and diversification of enterprise.

“Dynamics of Global Competition” is a good read, which is made easier by the diagrams and figures provided to help readers quickly grasp the key concepts.

Dynamics of global competition. Dynamics of global competition

Luca  Ceccato

University of Padova Marco Fanno Department of Economic and Organisational Sciences  International Economics Degree Course, 2016