Global Chair Emeritus
All companies are people businesses. Whether you are a manufacturer, a pharmaceutical company, or a consulting firm, it is people who make the difference.
Hans-Paul Bürkner was president and chief executive officer of The Boston Consulting Group from 2004 to 2012—the company’s fifth CEO. Before taking on that role, he was head of BCG’s global Financial Services practice, the chair of the practice areas, and a member of the Executive Committee.
Consulting magazine named Hans-Paul a Top 25 Consultant in 2003. Under his leadership, BCG established the Public Sector and Sustainability practices, the social-impact and education initiatives, and the Insurance and Marketing and Sales practices. In addition, 18 offices were opened around the world. The partner group and the global staff more than doubled and revenues tripled.
Hans-Paul’s key focus areas have been globalization and transformation. The opening up of economies around the world and connectivity through technology have created enormous momentum, opportunities, and challenges for countries and for companies—in both emerging and developed markets.
Business models in essentially all industries have changed or are in the process of changing. This requires companies to transform their business portfolios, organization, processes, leadership styles, and cultures—if they are to continue to grow and flourish. BCG’s focus has become supporting clients in making good use of these opportunities and enabling their people and organizations to deal proactively with the challenges.
Hans-Paul joined BCG in 1981, and over the course of those three-plus decades he has counted among his clients many of the world’s leading companies. He has helped to redefine strategies and organizations, spearheaded major global expansion initiatives, and supported companies in the fundamental transformation of their businesses.
Today, Hans-Paul travels extensively in the 46 countries in which BCG operates in order to support key clients and teams.
Leaders must learn what works in their city—and expeditiously address what doesn’t. Residents’ satisfaction is key to whether they move or stay.
Markets are fragmenting quickly. Scale and pedigree are no longer guarantees of success. To be contenders, global champions must design products differently.
Scale isn’t dead. But it’s critical to find the right balance between scale and fractal principles—and to do it before your competitors do.
Governments and companies must find new ways to collaborate if they are to solve the big multigenerational challenges, such as poverty, inequality, and climate change.
Powerful forces are reshaping the global business environment. To stay competitive, companies need to evolve beyond the traditional quest for scale.
When addressing critical issues such as nutrition access, clean water, and the digital divide, multilateral solutions aren’t the only answer.
Inequality is a complex challenge. To tackle it, governments should not only provide safety nets for citizens but also create trampolines that help them advance.
Companies compete on their capacity to learn quickly—and building an effective learning ecosystem is essential to gaining advantage in this critical area.
What is the secret to good decision making when reality clashes with the traditional way of doing things?
Revolutionary tech advances, the changing paradigm of training, and the rise of the bionic company demand radical rethinking of the corporate L&D function.
Industrial players have no time to lose. They need to catch up in digital by committing to a dramatic transformation.