Tips to Navigate a World Transformed by Crisis

Göran Engberg teaches us how to thrive in this new reality in his IPBN Master Class

Göran Engberg, Managing Partner of IPBN member company Growise Lda futurizes businesses by training leaders to tap hidden potentials within themselves to achieve profitable growth and thrive at the next level, and he brought his talents to the IPBN to share his process with us in an online Master Class held in September of 2021. Engberg took attendees on a journey into the future with an image of waves, each larger than the one before— starting with COVID and continuing through a recession, climate change, and ending with biodiversity collapse. These compounding factors illustrate how the world is changing and so is our business landscape. 

Engberg went on to say that technology, shocks, and globalization are leading to erosion of profit margins, so we must learn to “travel with a global passport.” He noted that throughout all his recent travels he has shown his COVID passport 10 times while he has rarely shown his personal passport. This strange new concept is something that businesses can begin to learn from: something new is shaping the world, and the borders are becoming less exclusive. Engberg said that "61% of the world’s GDP and 55% of the world spending comes from just 750 megacities and big cities... In 2030, that there will be only 10 mega-cities— one in the Western world, two in Africa, and seven in Asia. These cities will boast a total population of 284,4 million people." Engberg cited “50 Superstar Cities” that generate just 21% of the world GDP while making up a whopping 8% of the world’s population. The average GDP per capita in these cities is $42,000.00, which is about two times that of the global urban average. These Super cities are the places where Engberg recommends finding growth beyond borders— and China will be playing a huge role going forward to this end.

We are now entering into a situation where digitalization has made a huge impact— a paradigm shift— transforming the business landscape. If we understand the situation correctly, we have a huge opportunity to move forward and come out stronger on the other side. Engberg noted that the youth, as citizens who are plugged into technology and working remotely, will be the ones to carry us forward.  Even the overland train routes between Europe and Asia have been made more frequent, linking the regions within a 7-day train ride, making the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) encompasses over 70 countries including areas in Oceania and East Africa through the Maritime Silk Road route which takes 4 weeks to get from point A to point B. This is changing the world substantially, and the regions linked by the land and sea routes will begin to thrive in order to serve the project. 

Crossing the River Rubicon has become a metaphor for making a pivotal decision in order to reap huge rewards on the other side. The relevant question to ask, according to Engberg, is “Would it be better to remain a small, relatively simple, profitable business?” He suggests that “whatever took you here will not get you there. You need to step up to a higher standard in order to grow.” Engberg provided a ledger for businesses to track their current needs that should help them pinpoint the areas in which they are behind. The areas in question include society, competition, potential markets, the economy, political factors, technology, and general priorities of the business or parent company. Once the needs are pinpointed, Engberg suggested ways to find the thing you need to fill them and promote growth, avoiding “burnout or premature aging syndrome.” Following the GroWise step system from leadership through process and talent and up to communication, it can help businesses connect from within through strategy, structure, culture, and more. 

Lastly, Engberg described digitalization as a crucial part of stepping up. Focusing on long-term value, attracting talent, collecting and using data, and scaling up to technological solutions can take you from your current status quo to a booming business that has realized its potential and can harness it in order to continue to grow into the future. This starts by breaking old habits and creating your own unique path. Engberg quoted Alvin Toffler by saying, “The future always comes too fast, and in the wrong order.” That is to say, taking the first step can lead you down a wild and wonderful path, full of surprises, both good and bad, but if you are prepared to face challenges and use them as a springboard to the business success you crave, the future holds incredible promise.

If you would like to read more about Engberg's approach, read our recent Spotlight Series Article on Engberg and his business: Stepping Your Business Up to Cross the River Rubicon.