McKinsey’s Dominic Barton tells Fortune there are four things that worry nearly all of his clients these days.
Said Barton: “They’re pretty consistent around the world. The big one now is geopolitics. Whether you’re in Russia, China, anywhere, the assumed stability that was there for the past 20 or so years—it’s not there. The second is technology, which is moving two to three times faster than management. Most CEOs I talk to are excited and paranoid at the same time. Related to that is cybersecurity: The amount of time and effort to protect systems and look at vulnerabilities is big.”
“A fourth trend is the shift in economic power, with 2.2 billion new middle-class consumers in the next 15 years, and it’s moving to Asia and Africa. Do you have the right type of people in your top 100? Are you in those markets? Those are the four big ones we see everywhere.”
McKinsey’s Economic Conditions Snapshot for September 2014 expands on the geopolitical risks facing business today. They note that 80% of respondents “now believe geopolitical instability in the Middle East and North Africa is very likely or extremely likely to shock the global economy in the coming year, the largest share since 74 percent said the same in September 2013.”