Business leaders, analysts and investors constantly ask: "What are the economic and competitive advantages of pursuing a business strategy based on knowledge leadership?" Based on the findings of the 2009 Global MAKE study, the benefits of this approach are tangible and significant.
Successfully managing enterprise knowledge yields big dividends. The 2009 Global MAKE Winners trading on the NYSE/NASDAQ showed a Total Return to Shareholders (TRS) for the ten-year period 1999-2008 of 9.6% - over four times the average Fortune 500 company median.
Other findings include:
- Enterprises with long-term knowledge-driven strategies are continuing to invest in innovation, knowledge sharing and collaboration, and human intellectual capital - especially skills and competencies development - and will emerge from the global recession in stronger positions.
- The global economic downturn is accelerating the consolidation of key business sectors, including airlines, automotives, computers, consulting, defense, energy, information technology, Internet, media and pharmaceuticals. By the year 2012, there will be 3-5 global companies in each of the major business sectors. Those companies with strong knowledge-driven strategies are most likely to survive and prosper.
- Organizations around the world are facing leadership challenges in developing knowledge workers. This MAKE knowledge performance dimension had the lowest average Winners' score. A combination of factors - the retirement of growing numbers of 'baby boomers' and difficulties in recruiting talented new knowledge workers from the small pool of 'Generation Y' individuals, is forcing organizations to devote significant resources to human intellectual capital management.
- A growing number of organizations are taking on 'Global' characteristics - especially consulting and professional services firms, financial services, energy and media companies. These 'Global' organizations tend to operate as 'independent' companies within a Federal structure and without the traditional corporate head office.
- While the number of European organizations adopting knowledge-driven approaches is expanding, the number of European-headquartered Global MAKE Finalists and Winners continues to decline. The top-tier of European companies is falling behind their Asian and North American competitors at the cutting-edge of the Knowledge Economy.