New Times, New Rules: The 10 challenges that companies must face in order to grow

  • Trends
    Strategic Plan

Companies find themselves in an unpredictable global context that forces them to navigate in unfamiliar scenarios on an increasingly regular basis. With a complex economic environment and polarized, discerning and demanding societies, companies often have to contend with several tensions that are not always complementary, such as the need to obtain measurable results in the short term, the transformation processes required for business sustainability or the reputational pressure from the client on key issues such as the environment, diversity or contribution. 

Against this backdrop LLYC has drawn up the report New Times, New Rules: Ten Challenges in Unpredictable Times’, which responds to the challenges that companies must face to continue growing and generating value: from how to seize the moment to improve your competitive position or adjust your marketing strategy to the best way to deal with hyper-regulation and retain talent. The document, drawn up by some twenty of the firm’s professionals specializing in different areas and geographies, lays out solutions and new perspectives on how to face the future with the help of technology, creativity and a strong focus on people.

“The world is constantly transforming. New times bring a fresh set of challenges calling on companies to adopt different approaches and use different tools to meet them if they want to remain competitive. We’ve always done it this way is no longer valid; we must reimagine our solutions”, Luis Miguel Peña, Partner and CEO Europe at LLYC.  

Meanwhile, David Gonzalez Natal, Leading Partner of the project, highlighted: “The multidimensional challenges we refer to in New Times, New Rules affect virtually every sector. Technology and creativity are vital components enabling us to rethink the solutions that companies need today with greater flexibility and effectiveness”

Here are the ten challenges covered in the report:

– How to leverage complex moments to improve my competitive position: owning one’s own image is arguably one of the most difficult challenges brands face. It is therefore essential for companies to adopt advanced intelligence solutions to measure the conversation and impact of their actions. This is the only way they will be able to adapt their strategies to market demands and stay one step ahead of their competitors. 

– How to adjust my marketing strategy without losing impact: in periods of crisis and uncertainty, many companies tend to reduce their marketing budgets. However, the reality is that companies that have maintained or increased their investments have had greater commercial success. By 2021, 97.7% of S&P 500 companies and 75% of Ibex 35 companies that increased marketing dollars in 2020 had exceeded their 2019 revenues.  

– How to face hyper-regulation: the global business sector has run up against a major barrier in the standards that should bring incentives. The EU approves an average of 18 per day and Latin American CEOs say that high regulation is the second biggest threat to their firms’ growth, behind only populism. Faced with this scenario, companies must step forward in the public-private dialogue and demand that institutions listen to them.

– Finding and retaining the right talent in times of uncertainty: the new context in the talent-company relationship is marked by global phenomena such as the great resignation that has driven turnover rates in companies to over 20%, according to Gartner. Companies can no longer pick and choose: candidates are the ones who choose where to work. These are times of innovation, of rethinking what we do and incorporating new capabilities into HR teams to address the future.

– How to develop leaders who can help organizations grow: new leadership models based on listening, communicating with soul and empowering teams are the only ones capable of meeting the most demanding needs of the future. The leader is now tasked with creating a corporate culture that humanizes work, and where everyone feels involved and accountable for a common project, inspiring and generating a real impact on their environment. 

– How to protect the business in highly exposed sectors: if we learned anything in recent years, it is to accept the plausibility of such improbable scenarios as a global pandemic or a war of invasion in Europe followed by a planetary energy crisis. In our current context of permacrisis, the challenge is not to anticipate risk events by thinking only about how to mitigate the negative impacts in the short term, but how to reverse them into positive ones in the medium term.

– How to navigate conversations in a highly polarized society: extreme polarization exposes one in four people today. If the trend continues, this figure will rise to two in four by 2040. According to The Hidden Drug, a study published by LLYC in 2022, polarization, like other drugs, has effects on the individual and society as a whole. It is our responsibility to create spaces for conciliation in order to find a way out of this situation.

– How to remain relevant and influential in complex contexts: uncertainty, volatility and skepticism are unavoidable ingredients in business management. If we can successfully focus on the issues that are important to our stakeholders, respond to social concerns, relate to and create alliances with key communities, we can be relevant and influential in a context that is tangled and convulsive, but increasingly challenging and transforming.

– How to turn transformation into a reputational asset: true transformation, and its conversion into a reputational asset, will only be achieved by working towards a common goal. The key is active listening, developing a close, simple and credible narrative and creating pride in sharing success. The context demands that companies invest in a culture of engagement so that employees can feel, every day, that what they do has meaning and that there is a goal that really matters.

– How to remain connected to customers with less purchasing power: with a nervous consumer, it will be key to generate data-driven strategies and creatively address the components of the business model by putting the user at the center of everything. Of course, counting on allies (suppliers) to make this path easier for us, with a specific value proposition, and to help us carry out the solutions in a more concrete and effective way.

Learn more about the project and access the report here: New Times, New Rules: Ten challenges in uncertain times