Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden have enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for advances in digital technology. Yet the reality for Nordic companies is quite different. In recent years they have failed to keep up with the advances of others. BCG’s global survey of companies, based on each company’s self-assessment, found that the Nordics compare well only on digital vision and strategy. When it comes to execution, Nordic companies are well below the global average.
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Companies are shifting from avoiding negative consequences to building competitive advantages through green efficiency (increased resource efficiency) or green growth (innovation in products or services). The Boston Consulting Group, in partnership with the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), interviewed 42 CEOs and surveyed 800 business leaders in Norway, distilling concrete advice on how to increase profitability and expand business by “going green.”
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To survive in today’s volatile business environment, companies need active boards that spot disruptive trends and help executives think several years ahead. A BCG study of Nordic companies, which consistently rank among the world’s top value creators, offers insights into how all companies can promote long-term success.
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After more than a half-century of economic and social success, Nordic countries are confronting the reality that they must adapt. The countries’ ability to keep providing world-class social benefits is in question because of changes that are eroding the foundations of their economies. Those changes include the rise of new global competitors and the trend toward digitalization of economic activities around the world. While Nordic countries are still operating from a position of strength, their future is no longer assured.
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