Mastering the Twin Transition: Unveiling the secrets to success for businesses and MBA graduates

Twin Transition

In today’s fast-paced business world, the convergence of digital and green transitions is reshaping industries and challenging traditional norms. Understanding the complexities of this twin transition is crucial for companies and MBA graduates. It’s time to explore the dynamics of this transformation and its implications for the business landscape and education sector.

Understanding the Twin Transition: Green, Digital and Beyond

The twin transition refers to the simultaneous evolution of digital and green transformations intertwined with geopolitical and demographic shifts. It contains a wide array of changes, from technological advancements to sustainability initiatives and geopolitical tensions. Businesses must navigate this complex landscape to remain competitive and sustainable in the long term.

The Era of Hyperglobalization: Lessons Learned

Reflecting on the era of hyperglobalization that followed the fall of the Iron Curtain, it’s essential to underscore the complexities and shortcomings of extreme globalisation. While global trade and interdependence were praised as pathways to prosperity and peace, recent geopolitical tensions and crises have exposed the vulnerabilities of such interconnectedness.

Challenges and Strategies for Businesses

Businesses encounter numerous challenges as they adapt to the twin transition. One major challenge is reshaping supply chains to enhance resilience and adaptability. Diversifying suppliers, embracing reshoring or nearshoring, and investing in warehousing are strategies companies employ to mitigate risks associated with geopolitical uncertainties and disruptions. Digitalisation plays a major part in a properly controlled supply chain.

The green transformation encompasses various facets across all sectors, including decarbonisation, electrification, resource efficiency, and the circular economy, among others. Here, too, it is safe to say that digitalisation is the key to long-term success.

Digitalisation is both solution and part of the problem of transition. It helps significantly to optimise processes and make them more efficient but requires increasingly more energy and computing capacity.

Beyond Expertise: Embracing Adaptability in the Transition Era

Another challenge lies in addressing workforce shortages and demographic changes. As labour markets evolve and demographic shifts occur, companies must develop innovative recruitment and retention strategies. This may involve investing in training programs, fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, and embracing flexible work arrangements to attract and retain top talent.

It’s essential to recognise that success in the twin transition doesn’t solely rely on specialists in their respective fields. While expertise is valuable, curiosity and a willingness to learn and adapt are equally crucial. Companies need individuals who are not only proficient in their area of expertise but also possess a broad understanding of the interconnectedness of various disciplines.

Traditional metrics such as university grades shouldn’t be the sole determinant of an individual’s success or suitability for a role. Instead, companies should consider a candidate’s holistic profile, including their experiences, soft skills, and potential for growth.

Implications for MBA Education

The twin transition, therefore, also has profound implications for MBA education. MBA programs must adapt to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in this evolving landscape. This includes fostering interdisciplinary skills, promoting adaptability and resilience, and instilling a sustainability mindset.

Incorporating interdisciplinary coursework that integrates economics, sociology, and political science can provide students with a holistic understanding of the twin transition. Additionally, emphasising agility in decision-making, strategic planning, and problem-solving prepares students to navigate uncertainty and complexity in the business world.

Promoting sustainability and ethical business practices is another crucial aspect of MBA education in the twin transition. By integrating environmental and social considerations into coursework and experiential learning opportunities, MBA programs can prepare graduates to address sustainability challenges and drive positive change in their organisations.

Preparing for the Future

To thrive in the evolving business landscape, companies and individuals must prioritise continuous learning, innovation, sustainability, and diversity. Embracing change and fostering collaboration will be crucial for success in the future. By equipping themselves with the skills, knowledge, and mindset needed to navigate the twin transition, businesses and MBA graduates can seize opportunities and drive positive change in the world.

Conclusion

The twin transition presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses and MBA graduates. By understanding its intricacies and developing the necessary skills and qualities, individuals and organisations can navigate this transformative period with confidence. From reshaping supply chains to promoting sustainability and embracing innovation, success in the twin transition requires a holistic approach and a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation.

Markus Ochsner is Chairman of the Executive Board at ABB Germany and was the keynote speaker at the recent EFMD MBA Conference at Mannheim Business School

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