Forget about Silicon Valley. This year we look to Asia for inspiration.
Why? Because in 2019 Asia is simply the most inspiring continent in terms of business strategy, innovation, and leadership models. Of course, it hasn’t always been this way.
If we look over the last two thousand years, the center of global business power has shifted westwards from China to Europe, then North America, and then back again.
The more recent Asian business world has seen a combination of revolutions, revivals, rebirths, and rapid rises. The continent now stands on more of an equal footing with the West than for many centuries.
In 1919, China was divided and had suffered a series of political upheavals, India was impoverished and ruled from London and Singapore was a far-flung trading hub, also controlled by the Crown.
In 2019, India and China are now two of the world’s largest economies, and Singapore is now the world’s best place in which to do business. The Asian Tiger economies of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea continue to roar and inspire others to do so, and Asia today has the strongest economic outlook of any region in the world, according to an IMF report.
Alibaba, Huawei, and Uniqlo are just a few of the many Asian companies which ought to inspire our thinking. Both in understanding the opportunities for growth in Asian markets, but also to take a new mindset for leading business and delivering innovation back to our own organizations in Europe.
It’s time to ask ourselves how Europe can learn from Asia, their leadership and business models, and find new ways to engage Asian customers and businesses.
At this year’s Thinkers50 European Business Forum in Odense, Denmark, we highlight and discuss the success of Asia and prepare ourselves for the challenges facing European companies in the years to come.