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challenges and ideas

marketing campaigns. We help build innovative channels and strategic relationships so that businesses can reach the right customers at the right time and engage them in two-way dialogues that build trust, strengthen the brand and uncover new opportunities for innovation and growth.

The global economy has entered a new and complex phase, bringing with it a heightened sense of uncertainty and risk. The contours of the commercial landscape have been reshaped by unprecedented levels of competition, the quickened pace of innovation and eroding customer loyalty.

In a time of economic uncertainty when customer confidence is low and customer behavior increasingly difficult to predict delivering a customer experience consistently aligned around customer needs and intentions is more important than ever.

We suggest that market leaders climb to the top of their segments by building incredibly strong bonds with their customers. They've done so by mastering the skills and capabilities that form the core of marketing especially those identified as having a significant impact on loyalty and by recognizing that responsibility for "marketing" is shared across the organization.

The global economy has entered a new and complex phase, bringing with it a heightened sense of uncertainty and risk. The contours of the commercial landscape have been reshaped by unprecedented levels of competition, eroding customer loyalty and the quickened pace of innovation.

Keeping and expanding customer relationships depends on the ability to create loyalty by delivering a customer experience tailored to changing customer needs and values.

The customer experience continued to fall short this year, contributing significantly to churn. In fact, there is a significant jump in the percentage of respondents who had quit doing business during 2008 as a result of poor customer service 67 percent compared to only 59 percent in 2007.

As globalization enters a new, more complex phase, the collective economic dominance is giving way to a greater dispersal of global economic power. New developing economies in this "multi-polar world" contribute an ever increasing share of the world's output, trade and investment.

When market demand starts to slacken and customer behavior becomes harder to predict, sales teams may agree to less advantageous pricing, undermining strategies for growth. Companies should root out the common causes for this phenomenon and foster a performance anatomy that helps sales teams price with confidence.

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3- Operational Excellence

Operational excellence is certainly not a new topic but what makes it highly relevant now is the level of exposure companies are experiencing from today's market and economic disruptions. Senior executives are under intense pressure to reap the benefits associated with highly efficient daily operations reduced costs, less waste and more loyal customers.

For each organization, the situation calls for a particular type of journey to achieve operational excellence that may range from transformational changes to reinvent the entire global or regional operating model, through to continuous improvement and excellence in execution or targeted interventions that build selective, functionally focused capabilities within the operating model.

So it is not enough for executives to know where they plan to take their organizations how they make those journeys will have a significant bearing on their companies' eventual positioning, because not all companies are able to handle change to the same degree. The task, then, is for business leaders to select the appropriate change journey with care, and to embark on it with wholehearted commitment and full preparation.

Choosing the right change journey is as important as deciding what change needs to occur. The three approaches are:

       Continuous improvement -This usually involves a large number of small initiatives that are dispersed across the organization to build an ongoing change capability. Continuous improvement efforts are typically led by divisional or geographical leaders and yield quick benefits, require small relative investments and tend to become a natural part of doing things.

       Targeted intervention -The aim is to focus on the area of greatest need that will yield clear return on investment. There is typically a compelling reason to change a threat caused by a market or industry discontinuity, or a new opportunity for growth along with a sense of urgency. In this type of journey, an organization decides to make big changes to its operating model, but chooses to do it a piece at a time, often with the goal of reducing the risk of the change initiative.

       Transformation program -Here, the journey involves change on a grand scale, almost always with complete reinvention of the operating model and big shifts in the organization's structure to align with the business strategy. Where there is the right organizational culture and the right leadership to drive the program, transformation is usually the fastest way to get a big change implemented and to leapfrog the competition.

Executive management teams face profound choices about which path to take to attain operational excellence. Successful companies keep to a disciplined approach in choosing the change journey that they can say, with reasonable certainty, will work for them.

To effectively support an organization's international strategy, five organizational components need to work in synergy: leadership; people; organizational structure; processes and technology; and metrics.

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4- Durable and Effective Mergers and Acquisitions

Gone are the days of carefully weighing every possible merger option. With share prices at or near record lows in many sectors, more and more businesses are suddenly exposed to unwanted overtures and many now see an array of acquisition opportunities themselves. In this environment, fortune favors the fast, not just the bold. Business leaders must now "speed think" through the consequences of a deal, without the luxury of time for a long period of due diligence that until recently seemed mandatory.

In whirlwind times like these, it pays to have partners who've been through it all before. Whether you're an acquirer or a likely target, you need someone whose big-picture view and rapid response quickly enable you to gauge the risks of the deal to factors such as your corporate brand, financial structure, integration and employee buy in.

the real goal is increasing value for shareholders over the long term.

Not long ago, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds were hailed as the new masters of the world economy. Nowadays, things are quite different. Is this shift permanent or cyclical? And has a new investment paradigm risen from the ashes of today's smoldering economy?

The combination of a drop in confidence, falling asset values and increased competition for buyers would indicate that divestiture is a risky move right now. companies that proactively identified and capitalized on opportunities to restructure their portfolios emerged in the strongest positions.

 high-performing companies are those that constantly renew their portfolio of businesses

High-performance businesses can open up the greatest gap between themselves and their competitors during turbulent times. And in this period of unprecedented change, effective mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can provide the opportunity to create sustainable competitive advantage for those companies with the vision and courage to pursue them.

Exploiting every source of value in your merger or acquisition is no easy task. It requires innovative, comprehensive services supported by proprietary tools, execution-driven playbooks and proven approaches. we help businesses to build an in-house merger and acquisitions capability that can enable growth and high performance. On the road to high performance, companies should be aware of the "rushing" to achieve synergy and value creation during a merger.

High-performance businesses must develop new strategies to outperform their peers against the backdrop of the current economic downturn.

Transnational deals now account for almost half of all M&A activity. But these transactions are not for the faint of heart and should be approached with particular care.

As the global economy enters a significant downturn, companies with strong balance sheets are positioned to take advantage of the opportunities the current conditions create.

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5- Strategic Talent Management

In today's uncertain environment, companies face a critical question regarding talent: "Do we risk damaging our brands in the minds of current and prospective employees for years to come by enacting reactive, indiscriminate cost-cutting programs simply to save money in the near term?" Unfortunately, we've found the answer to the question often is yes.

In many enterprises, little thought often is given to the long-term consequences of short-term "fixes." Such companies live to regret their decisions when conditions ultimately improve, because they find their employees leaving for more attractive situations, prospective employees more difficult to attract, creating gaps in critical parts of the workforce that are needed to fuel future growth.

Regardless of whether a company is positioning for survival, competitive advantage or growth during a downturn, we believe uncertain times call for innovative thinking in all areas of business, including the workforce. Applying innovative and more effective approaches to dealing with key aspects of talent management in uncertain times can help companies manage through the downturn and position themselves for high performance when conditions ultimately improve.

we firmly believes there is opportunity in adversity, and that companies that respond rapidly with innovative talent management solutions will reap the greatest benefits, both now and in the years to come.

The objective at the heart of successful talent management in difficult times: to think ahead and to think more strategically about creating a workforce with the capabilities to outperform the competition as the economy turns around. A number of fresh approaches are available to help companies go beyond responses focused only on staff reductions.

Today's global business environment requires bold new programs to drive high performance along three dimensions: change management, leadership and culture.

The key to talent power is multiplication, not addition. Organizations need to maximize the performance of their critical functions and businesses by investing in, developing and multiplying all of their talent. When companies build a talent multiplication capability, they generate the superior efforts, creativity and results that come with a talent-powered organization.

In today's multi-polar world, the war for talent has gone global. New technologies are transforming the nature of work, the skills demanded, the manner in which work is sourced globally and the ways in which people collaborate to perform processes and innovate. All these trends are making talent an ever-more critical and complex issue.

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6- Managing Risk Across the Enterprise

In tough economic times, the companies most ready for the upturn will be those that are best at managing risk across the enterprise not just as a compliance function inside the Finance department. True high-performance businesses treat risk management as a strategic imperative a company-wide initiative that certainly manages all the essential preventive controls but also provides an integrated framework for fact-based decision making about new business opportunities.

our risk-management solutions give businesses everything they need to embed new cost efficiencies in preventive activities such as regulatory compliance and loss prevention. But our solutions also ensure that organizations have a coherent framework for making smart, risk-sensitive decisions about upside initiatives such as new market opportunities, new products and new plant locations.

In short, we enable business leaders to properly identify, assess, manage and monitor the full spectrum of their business opportunities and risks in an integrated and transparent way. It's the best way for business leaders to rest assured that the company is on track to achieve its expected returns while controlling its accepted exposure to risk.

Enterprise-wide risk management is not only a protection against risk, but provides the competitive edge that enables high performance.

Learn how continuous controls analysis can help achieve businesses compete more effectively, turning compliance into a source of competitive advantage and ultimately supporting the drive to achieve high performance.

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7-Embedded Sustainability

Sustainability has shifted permanently from being a collection of wholesome "green" projects to a strategic imperative that no economic downturn can derail. It has become a way of doing business that is tied ever-more tightly into interactions with customers, suppliers, investors and even with current and future employees.

We see increasing numbers of leading companies using sustainability practices to drive down costs and create new revenue streams. Sustainability is helping these companies win and keep new customers. And sustainability is rapidly becoming essential to effective branding and risk management.

We know how to integrate sustainability solutions across a company. At the same time, we can help companies make the all-important trade-off decisions that result in a solid return on investment from their sustainability initiatives.

We are uniquely positioned to help businesses and public services navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with the emerging sustainability imperative.

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8- Global Strategies for a Multi-Polar World

A well-planned and well-executed strategy lies at the heart of high performance. We help organizations create and implement breakthrough operational and transformational solutions. Our innovative strategies and our unique integration of business and IT strategy solutions enable high performance.

Corporate strategy; mergers and acquisitions; growth and innovation; new market entry; supply chain; sourcing; pricing; and risk management are just some of the ways we can help you in today's globalized marketplace.

The world we once knew no longer exists. A true global economy has become a reality for today's businesses and governments. Multiple centers of economic power and activity have emerged, signifying a new era of globalization the "multi-polar" world.

Today's multi-polar world includes numerous new hubs of economic power and activity. Working

Companies are beginning to look beyond traditional metrics like price-earnings ratios to assess their effectiveness at generating growth through innovation. Determining a company's future-value premium provides a simple but effective way for management to diagnose and understand the complexities of market expectations, as well as the investment community's confidence in the company's long-term outlook.

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source: Accenture