GB500 | Business Perspectives
Unit 1 Assignment
Paper: Business Success in The New Normal
Business success in the increasingly complex global economy, demands a high degree of productivity and
effectiveness from all employees, both on an individual level as well as performance in teams. Ollila (2013)
tells us “For the future challenges the world faces are complicated and global in scope. They cross borders.
They potentially affect all of us. They will require far more collaboration between government, business and
civil society — not less” (para 1).
In your Reading for this week you have learned about teams and challenges to business success. For this 3–4
page (not including cover and reference pages) APA compliant paper, respond to the following:
1. The most significant challenge(s) you see in this rapidly changing global economy to business success
for startup companies seeking to expand globally. Your thoughts and hypothesis on these
challenges should be supported by at least two scholarly sources in addition to the readings and
videos for this week to achieve a high degree of credibility.
2. Describe the skills that will be needed by leaders, individuals, and teams to overcome these
challenges. Support your thoughts with research from at least 2 scholarly sources in addition to the
Reading and videos for this week to achieve a high degree of credibility.
3. Provide a work or personal example of a time when you took a leadership role, what skills did you use
in this leadership role and what the results were. If you looked back, was there anything you would
have done differently to be more effective?
4. Conclude by providing specific examples of how you can use this information to achieve successful
performance in the Marketplace simulation.
For assistance on APA format visit the Writing Center (click to learn about APA from the Writing Center).
Submit your paper to the Unit 1 Assignment Dropbox.
Ollila, J. (2013). Facing up to our global challenges in a volatile world. Vital Speeches of the Day, 79(1), 15-18.
Rhodes, D. (2010). The "new normal" requires a new mindset. Ivey Business Journal, 74(4), 26.
The rubric seen below is representative of the information seen in Individual Focus Paper Rubric area of the
Syllabus. Please refer to the Syllabus for additional information.
GB500 | Business Perspectives
1. The most significant challenge(s) you see in this rapidly changing global economy to
business success for startup companies seeking to expand globally. Your thoughts and
hypothesis on these challenges should be supported by at least two scholarly sources
in addition to the Reading for this week to achieve a high degree of credibility.
2. Describe the skills that will be needed by leaders, individuals, and teams to
overcome these challenges. Support your thoughts with research from at least 2
scholarly sources in addition to the Reading for this week to achieve a high degree of
3. Provide a work or personal example of a time when you took a leadership role, what
skills did you use in this leadership role and what the results were. If you looked back,
was there anything you would have done differently to be more effective?
4. Conclude by providing specific examples of how you can use this information to
achieve successful performance in the Marketplace simulation.
5. Writing style, research, grammar, APA format, and citation style compliance.
be producing five times as many college
graduates as the United States.
These are the facts that drive the
decisions we must make as we position
Penn State to succeed in the future.
Part of that strategic planning will
require getting out in front of the information technology revolution, which
has been among the most significant
drivers of educational change in the
last 15 to 20 years. It has also been like
a runaway train.
One response to the higher education
funding crisis has been increased appeals,
especially from legislators and business
leaders, for higher education to drastically
increase online education. The hope is
that more students will receive college
degrees faster and at less cost.
In fact, research shows that done
appropriately, the application of information technologies can both improve
learning outcomes AND decrease the
costs of delivering that education. But so
far, big savings have proven elusive.
Nonetheless, Massive Open Online
Courses are testing the market. Dozens
of universities, including MIT, Harvard,
Princeton and Stanford, now offer these
classes, prompting headlines like “College may never be same.” Stay tuned. It
could be a wild ride.
Obviously, good ideas take time and
research to explore.
Penn State operates a World Campus
with nearly 12,000 students enrolled in
dozens of fully online programs. Our
model has been honored by the Sloan
Consortium as the top online program
for 2012. It too continues to evolve.
Finally, in the coming year, we must
prepare Penn State for the next generation of leadership. I announced that I
will be retiring by June 2014, and the
Board of Trustees is about to begin the
search for the next president. It’s incumbent upon us to lay the groundwork for
my successor, and we look forward to an
invigorating process with many outstanding candidates.
Penn State continues to move
forward and embrace the challenges.
Not only those that have come from the
events of the past year, but those that
come from being part of the higher
education landscape, a large public
land grant research university, and yes,
a university that continues to believe
that great academics and great athletics can not only co-exist, but can be
mutually reinforcing components of a
I hope you can better understand
why I’m proud to be the president of
It’s because of our students, faculty,
staff and hundreds of thousands of
Penn State alumni and friends. Our
difficulties are not over, but I assure you
that Penn State’s best days are ahead.
Again, thank you for the opportunity
to share these thoughts with you.
FACING UP TO OUR GLOBAL CHALLENGES IN A VOLATILE WORLD
Leaders in both business and government will need to develop certain critical traits. In this new era,
leaders need to be humble, wise and farsighted.
Address by JORMA OLLILA, Chairman,
Royal Dutch Shell
e are here tonight to celebrate the
excellent work of this year’s six
finalists for the Business Book of the Year.
I have always admired authors. It
takes a heady mix of self-confidence,
faith and risk-taking determination to
write a book. No less of an authority
than John Steinbeck once said, “The
profession of book-writing makes horseracing seem like a solid, stable business.”
Indeed, the decision to write a book
is almost always a gamble. There is no
guarantee your words will be published. Even if they are, there is always
the fear your book will quickly end up
in that most humble of literary destinations: the discount bin at Wal-Mart.
Fortunately, tonight’s finalists need
not fear the discount bin. All have
Delivered at the Financial Times/Goldman
Sachs Business Book of the Year Award Dinner,
New York City, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2012
done a masterful job of accomplishing the award’s goal of “providing
compelling and enjoyable insights into
modern business issues.”
As one of the judges, I must confess
this was a most difficult decision. All
are deserving of this recognition. As I
considered my decision, it occurred to
me that unlike so many popular business
books of the past, these books focus little
on strategies and how to lead.
Instead, each in its own way addresses the difficulty of dealing with a
rapidly changing world. Some common themes were the interactions
between business and society, and how
to balance our social values with a
well-functioning market economy.
When I speak here of a rapidly
changing world, I’m talking not only
about the business world, but of the
larger world around us. Whether we
are addressing technology, the economy or our political institutions, the
rapid pace of change is forcing us to
consider new ways of dealing with the
global challenges ahead.
That is what I would like to discuss tonight.
How do we manage these changes
and effectively address our global challenges? How do we balance society’s
needs with business needs? And can
our political institutions address the
big issues of the day in a rational,
Perhaps that last one is not a fair
question to ask in the final week of a
It does seem politicians at times
debate the wrong questions. And they
tend to avoid action on the toughest
issues, particularly in an election year.
I can assure you this, unfortunately, is
not just an American phenomenon.
There clearly are major global issues we need to begin addressing soon.
But before I go there, it’s useful to take
a look at where we are.
The State of the World
We have entered an era of far
greater economic volatility and cyclicality. This, in turn, is generating more
political volatility and the perception
of greater investment risk.
To use a popular cliché, this is
“the new normal.” It is a lot like this
unpredictable weather: You never
know how bad it’s going to get, so
you had better be well-prepared for
the next big storm and not take any
We have been through the deepest
global economic slump in 70 years, which
has tested the resiliency of our institutions and of capitalism itself. It’s a bit
surprising to realize that August marked
the fifth anniversary of the crisis in global
financial markets. Five years and we are
still quite far from a full recovery.
In fact, the global economy remains surprisingly weak. One reason
is our economy has evolved into an
increasingly interdependent system—a
system in which domestic policy, even
in the largest economies, is shaped by
In addition, slow growth and high
unemployment in much of the world
have contributed to more divisive politics.
And that, of course, works against more
cooperative regional and global solutions.
In the short term, the world faces
three big political uncertainties:
• The euro zone crisis;
• The transition of power in China;
• And the U.S. election.
On top of that, we have the ongoing
volatility in the Middle East and North
Africa, where the political uncertainty
continues to affect the global economy.
VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY
So that is the state of our world at
• A painfully slow recovery;
• Businesses sitting on a large
amount of cash, reluctant to invest;
• And a lot of uncertainty and
pessimism … driven in part by an
increasingly divisive and paralyzed
Have I depressed you yet? I do promise to share some optimism in a moment!
But it is important to acknowledge the way we are dealing with our
regional and global problems generally is failing. We seem increasingly
ill-equipped to deal with change and
the big issues of our day.
In the past, there was effectively
a “triangle of trust” between government, business and civil society,
which helped us tackle the great
issues. Today that triangle of trust is
The quality of interactions within
the triangle has been steadily declining for years, and it is time we come to
terms with that fact.
For the future challenges the world
faces are complicated and global
in scope. They cross borders. They
potentially affect all of us. They will
require far more collaboration between government, business and civil
For example, how will we transition
to a more sustainable energy system
while meeting growing demand? How
will we reduce CO2 emissions to avoid
the worst effects of climate change?
How will we avoid overstressing our
resource systems—including water,
energy and food—as we add another
2 billion people to our population by
Long-term, there is no easy answer
to these questions. But we have some
choices to make now,
and we know the turbulence ahead
will only worsen the longer we delay
New approaches are needed. We
need to find ways to get past the
political and economic paralysis that is
Some even argue that in a more
turbulent world we need to lower our
expectation for continuous economic
growth. They say it is unrealistic to
expect ongoing economic growth, because productivity growth could very
likely decelerate over the next century.
I’m not sure I buy that. But change
and volatility do tend to cause us to
question many of our assumptions,
which is good.
Amid all this pessimism, I do believe there is reason for optimism.
It is important to remember this:
We are facing some of these issues
only because of the unprecedented
progress the world has made through
globalizing the economy over the past
few decades—progress that has seen
an estimated 2 billion more people rise
into the middle class.
That is a tremendous achievement for
humanity and shows what is possible.
In addition, the democratization of
information and communication technology, such as the rapid spread of the mobile phone, is changing lives on a global
scale—especially in developing countries.
So how do we deal with this new
environment? How do we begin to
mitigate the increasing stresses this
progress is generating, while still growing the global economy? And how do
we build a global movement for change
so we can actually make progress?
I am afraid I don’t have all the answers. If I did, I might be one of those
politicians running for office! But I do
have a few thoughts.
In a volatile world, there’s a greater
need to develop “resiliency” into our
systems. By that, I mean the capacity
of business, economic, political and
social structures to adapt and grow in
the face of change and volatility.
Businesses and governments that
excel in the future will do a better
job developing options to deal with
unanticipated crises: From political
upheavals to natural disasters to technological change.
To address the trust issue, we need
to be more transparent in how we op-
erate. The need for business to listen
is far greater today. We also need to
do a better job of explaining what we
do and why.
Transparency in Alaska
Here’s an example of what I
mean: As you may know, this fall
Shell began initial exploratory
drilling for potentially vast oil and
gas resources far below the shallow
waters off Alaska’s coast.
I just was up there last week.
And I can tell you first hand, this is
a region of tremendous beauty, opportunity and extremes: an extreme
environment, with extreme resource
potential and extreme oversight.
To deal with the environmental
extremes, we are utilizing our technical know-how and the latest drilling
and spill-prevention technologies.
Our preparations have been unprecedented. Our Alaska plans are arguably the most heavily scrutinized in
our industry’s history, and our actions
are being closely watched.
Alaska’s remoteness and sensitive
environment warrant extraordinary
precautions. So does the proximity
of indigenous peoples who subsist off
the land and water.
Just as important as our technical
preparations, is the way we have behaved as a company. We recognized
early on that it was critical to listen
Over the past several years, Shell
took part in more than 500 meetings
with people and organizations in
Alaska to better understand and address their concerns. Through these
discussions, we learned a lot. And we
changed our plans.
For example, we cut our drilling
program in half over concerns we
were moving too fast. We committed
to leave the area during the drilling
season while Alaska Natives conduct
their whale hunts.
By simply being open about our
plans, by being respectful, by listening
and responding, we have gained the
support and trust of the people who
will be most affected by our development, including some who initially
Role of Business
I also believe business needs to
take a larger role in exploring new
forms of partnership and collaboration, with governments, with interest
groups and NGOs, and with busi-
issues I mentioned earlier: the challenge of effectively managing our
energy, water and food systems as
we add 2 billion more people to the
global population by 2050.
Our industry uses a lot of water to
produce the energy we develop and
the fuels and chemicals we produce;
utilities use a lot of it to generate
electricity. This will increasingly become an issue as the world’s demand
We have gained the support and trust of the
... most affected by our development ...
nesses outside our own industries.
There are several reasons why
this makes sense. First, government
agencies and elected officials are
constrained by their jurisdictional
boundaries and short election cycles.
Second, industry generally has a
longer-term view and a more international perspective and reach. In
energy, for example, we often make
large investments that can span over
30 or 40 years.
Third, each business and industry
tends to have a limited focus on its
role within the overall economic value
chain. So partnership and collaboration among businesses is also essential.
This mismatch in boundaries
and time frames between industry
and government inhibits progress in
responding to change and dealing
with our long-term challenges. The
regulatory capability of the public
sector also could benefit from the
private sector’s technology, innovations and project skills.
So it makes sense to develop more
effective ways to bring these parties together, to create new forms of
collaboration that are integrated and
Again, there is reason for optimism.
Some work already is under way to
create new forms of collaboration that
could restore the triangle of trust.
For example, there has been an
ongoing dialogue about one of the
for water grows with the rising population and ever-larger cities.
It’s also a big issue for the food and
agriculture industries. That’s because
an even larger amount of water is
needed to grow and get the food we
eat to our tables.
At Shell, we’ve been working to
understand how the world’s energy
and water systems are interconnected. Our goal is to do a better
job of developing energy resources
in ways that limit the impact on the
Recently, we have brought together a small group of CEOs who
have committed their companies to
joint projects that may demonstrate
what can be done to mitigate these
kinds of resource stresses. The idea
is to find practical ways to make local economies and resource systems
What is interesting about this
initiative is it involves companies
from different industries, not just
the energy industry. We want to
identify what works, then replicate
it elsewhere and create new business
We recognize actions are more
persuasive than mere talk, which is
why we have not really talked much
about this initiative yet. It is still in its
early days, and we want to wait until
we have some positive results.
Another example of an effort to
rebuild trust within the triangle is
the Energy for Society Principles.
This is an initiative of the World
Economic Forum to help accelerate
the effort to meet our future energy
needs by restoring society’s confidence in our industry.
The goal is to focus our industry
around a set of principles to foster
open and transparent communication, to increase understanding and
more collaborative action. Shell CEO
Peter Voser and 19 other energy company CEOs around the world have
already signed on.
In the big picture, these are relatively modest efforts. But perhaps it
is the accumulation of collaborative
efforts like these, which cross traditional boundaries, that will grow
into a movement and larger-scale
In fact, this “bottom-up” a ...
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