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Human Resources

Learning & Development

Management Consulting

"Providing practical solutions to organizational challenges in people management, strategy and resource development."

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"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

Confucius

A topical update on areas of interest!

The Global Economy in 2021? 

According to Goldman Sachs - "A Vaccine Led Recovery!" 


January 2, 2021

The Goldman Sachs 2021 MACROECONOMIC OUTLOOK!

It has emerged that 2020 was a year unlike any other!?  What will follow in 2021, with vaccines being deployed in increasing quantities by early summer? Herd immunity is hopefully set to follow with the vast majority of the world's population protected by several COVID-19 vaccinations. We are left to wonder, what health and economic predictions will come true in 2021?


Follow the links below for more details:

Goldman Sachs - Economic Outlook

https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/topics/economic-outlooks.html


Goldman Sachs - Economic Insights

https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/podcasts/episodes/11-09-2020-jan-hatzius-f/presentation.pdf


BBC - Herd Immunity Explanation

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/health-48682113


An historic day for the United States of America? 

The inauguration of a new President and Vice President! 

The new administration is committed to unleashing a U.S. $1.9 Trillion stimulus package!!!


January 20, 2021

The world financial markets are encouraged by the new U.S. Government's economic stimulus plan. This is being done while interest rates are at an all time low.  President Biden has also pledged to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office. This is indeed ambitious, bold, strategic and inspiring.


As the world's largest economy attempts to battle its way out of a pandemic induced recession, the rest of the global economy must be "fully invested" in the United States succeeding. We await developments, while wondering what health and economic successes will follow in 2021?


Follow the links below for more details:

CNN - The Stimulus Package

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/14/politics/biden-economic-rescue-package-coronavirus-stimulus/index.html

CNN - Vaccinating 100 Million Americans in First 100 Days

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/08/politics/biden-100-million-vaccines-100-days/index.html

BBC - Interest Rates at an All Time Low

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51901998


My Five Predicted Business Trends in 2021!!!

How Many of Them Will Affect You? 



February 4, 2021

1. Vaccine Rollout -  The practical elements are sourcing vaccine ingredients, production, delivery logistics and local inoculations centres.  The second practical need is for 70 % or more of a country's population to be vaccinated before considering any notion of herd immunity. A variable in this plan will be employees in the workplace that for religious, ethical or vaccine phobia reasons refuse to have the COVID-19 vaccinations. This is of course a free individual choice but it comes with some potentially dire health and economic consequences.


2. Remote/Home Working - It may remain universally in place and be practical until at least September 2021. What combination of office/workplace and working from home will follow? The research has shown that working from home has actually increased productivity. It can also accommodate a more amicable work/life balance.


3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) - In all its forms has clearly taken centre stage. Issues regarding  equity on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and many other DEI matters have been thrust into the spotlight. Research has proven that diversity in your workforce equates well with increased revenues and innovation.


4. E-Commerce - The pandemic has forced many businesses to launch or enhance their online selling portals. The acceleration in this process has been unprecedented and many industry experts have stated the pandemic has taken years off customer e-commerce adoption time. While the digital conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Skype and Remo have kept learning, communities, government and business afloat. 

5. The Gig Economy - Jobs have been lost to the pandemic initiated recession. As the economy recovers, "bit jobs" that  are small short-term contracts of employment working mainly as a freelancer will dominate.  Job insecurity for most workers is hopefully only a casualty in the short-term and many more stable jobs will emerge with a rejuvenated global economy.


Follow the links below for more details:


Reuters - The United Kingdom has vaccinated 10 million (Feb. 3, 2021) 
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-vaccinatio/britain-has-given-10-million-people-a-first-covid-19-vaccine-dose-idUSKBN2A325N  


BBC - Remote Working

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200710-the-remote-work-experiment-that-made-staff-more-productive 


The Dream Collective - Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) 
https://www.thedreamcollective.com.au/blog/achieving-global-inclusion-at-the-hq-level-through-local-empowerment/ 


Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada - (E-Commerce)

https://schulich.yorku.ca/news/schulich-partners-with-city-of-toronto-and-e-commerce-leaders-to-launch-digital-main-street-online-store-initiative/


Forbes Business Trends 2021

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonwingard/2020/12/21/leading-in-2021-5-key-business-trends-and-15-companies-to-watch/?sh=63d06321747e 

Travel & Tourism

How Will it Look Post Pandemic?

 



March 3, 2021

How has the pandemic affected airlines? Several airlines both domestically and internationally have permanently ceased trading as a result of the pandemic. Many other airlines have mothballed aircraft, furloughed staff, reduced routes and restructured their operations. Most airlines have done this independently and without government financial support.  Flybe, one of Europe's largest independent regional airlines, went bust in March 2020, when COVID-19 was beginning to spread throughout Europe. Also, Virgin Atlantic is facing bankruptcy without government financial support and Air Transat is in severe financial difficulties.


Are there any additional economic impacts? Yes,  according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), one in ten jobs is directly supported by the sector. The WTTC has also stated that Travel and Tourism  pre-COVID-19 was a  US $9 Trillion a year industry. The WTTC has confirmed that approximately 330 million people work in this sector globally. This does not account for all the third-party businesses that indirectly supply the Travel and Tourism sector.


What are the health implications? WHO has stated that several poorer nations will not be effectively vaccinated until the end of 2022. Richer country populations will be vaccinated much sooner. A major concern is that any mutations of the virus will flourish in areas waiting for a vaccination program to be implemented. This could allow new vaccine resistant virus strains to emerge, a worrying prospect that places everybody in jeopardy worldwide (whether vaccinated or not). This is a rather compelling argument for the rollout of vaccines more equitably around the world.


1.  Sustainable Tourism -  The diversification of a country's economy into sustainable and socially responsible sectors must remain critical. As examples,  in Tanzania tourism represents 17 % of the economy and in the U.S. State of Hawaii it represents 21% of the economy. Kerala in India, is focusing on tourism that works in harmony with local communities and Thailand has closed beaches to protect their natural habitats.


2. Technological Advances - Digital Vaccine Passports (displayed on smartphones) are being used for travel between Greece and Israel. A process similar to the Yellow Fever and other inoculations paper documents carried by world travellers for decades.  Greece is in discussion with the United Kingdom to arrange another vaccine passport tourism corridor in time for the summer tourism season. According to OECD statistics, Greece has 6.8% of its economy dependent on tourism and 381, 800 jobs which is 10% of the workforce. The advantages for travellers who are vaccinated are clear. However, it discriminates against poorer nations that are unable to implement a rapid vaccination program.  


3. Business Travel - Multinational companies with international assignments for employees are placing new deployments on hold or extending existing ones. Technology and virtual cultural simulations definitely assist. However, the fundamental requirement for real life experiences in business, cultural awareness and  education are best developed by actual geographical and social contact. Regional travel within a country that has vaccinated effectively or has comprehensively contained the virus, have suddenly  opened  greater possibilities for local business and tourism.


4. Young People (Exchange, Study & Work Abroad) - The important education, cultural exchange and other work to link students and young people internationally has to resume. Innovation is greatly enhanced by diversity and inclusion programs. Whether they be university to university, youth group to youth group or professional bodies; much of our human progress has  been best displayed by positive and collaborative international cooperation.


Business and tourism travel post COVID-19,  will involve additional health and safety protocols, enhanced digital verification, potentially fewer service providers and new COVID-19 related travel taxes. However, busy travel will return and the human spirit to explore and connect will fuel this recovery.  


Follow the links below for more details:


World Travel and Tourism Council

https://wttc.org/Research/Economic-Impact 


BBC - Vaccine Passport

https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-55718553 


CBC - Vaccine Passport

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-feb-17-2021-1.5916652/covid-19-vaccine-passports-must-address-privacy-equity-concerns-say-experts-1.5916936


BBC - International air transportation is a sector in crisis due to COVID-19.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54334558 

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Website

https://www.iata.org/  

 

The Evergreen Marine ship named "Ever Given" blocked the Suez Canal for six days in late March 2021. This has highlighted how crucial international freight shipping is to the global economy but also how several choke-points make the trade vulnerable.


Why should this be of concern and how does it affect us?

 


April 6, 2021

An act of nature, in the form of high winds and a sandstorm, blew the "Ever Given" off course and the ship became wedged in the Suez Canal. This prevented other ships from using the Suez Canal for six days.  This happened while another act of nature in the form of COVID-19  had already been very successful in severely reducing world trade and commerce. 


Why is the incident important? 

The Suez Canal carries 12% of world trade by volume. An alternative route from Asia to Europe that navigates around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adds more that seven days to a ship’s journey. The Suez Canal is one example of several narrow choke-points on which sea freight relies. The list includes the Panama Canal, which links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. Even before a ship the length of the Empire State Building stopped traffic, these choke-points were already under immense pressure. Among the contributing factors are increasing traffic flow, insurance, international border disputes, terrorism, piracy, climate change and acts of nature.  


How does this affect us?

The supply chain for goods and commodities is operating to a strict global timetable. On average 50 freight ships pass through the Suez Canal each day.  A six-day delay of critical shipping at an acknowledged choke-point, disrupts the delivery of the coffee or tea we drink, medical supplies, petroleum, all manufactured products, construction and agricultural goods. We will have to wait and see what adverse effects this disruption has on prices, jobs, supplies and economic growth? To quote an expert, “We might celebrate the success of releasing the ship and unblocking the Suez, but that’s not the end of the story here,” said Douglas Kent, executive vice president of strategy and alliances at the Association for Supply Chain Management. “It’s definitely going to continue to backlog ports and other delivery mechanisms as a result, and then of course the chaos that disrupts thereafter.”


Follow the links below for more details:


The Wall Street Journal - Freight companies brace for post-Suez port backups

https://www.wsj.com/articles/freight-companies-brace-for-post-suez-port-backups-11617141392?st=kehj38s2orf30b8&reflink=article_email_share


The Association for Supply Chain Management - Newsroom Updates

https://www.ascm.org/about-ascm/newsroom/ 


BBC - The cost of the Suez Canal blockage

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56559073

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