We keep our ear to the ground for the interesting stats, insights and discussion points you need to feel in the know.

1. Moment of truth

An abstract image of an older man's face within a yellow frame. Outside of the frame are lots of pixels spread out.

Why do many transformations fail to deliver the value that organizations expect? A human factor is the secret to success in transformation programs. Leaders who put humans at the center to navigate turning points are 12 times more likely to significantly improve transformation performance. But there can be no improvement without a turning point. Almost every transformation (96%) has at least one moment of truth, when the program goes off course and leaders intervene (or not). These crucial moments are called “turning points.” Turning points are inevitable. Adopting a human-centric approach that detects and quickly navigates issues early, before they destroy value, is essential. How CEOs plan for them and respond to them can make or break the entire transformation. These six drivers increase the likelihood of a successful transformation…

How can the moments that threaten your transformation define its success?

2. IKEA: A transformation story

Six employees walking through a brightly-lit warehouse in high-visibility jackets

Love a day trip to IKEA? You’re not alone. So do millions of people in 31 countries worldwide. IKEA, a brand synonymous with affordable and stylish home furnishings, is famous for its unique in-store experience (and tasty Swedish meatballs). Customers can explore multiple floors of cozy living rooms, minimalist bathrooms, bedroom sanctuaries and a whole lot more. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, a lockdown-induced surge in online shopping put the organization under immense pressure. IKEA’s famously customer-centric in-store experience was not being replicated online and shoppers were taking note. Customer surveys showed only 60% of customers were happy with service and support. On top of that, online sales were being offset by increasing costs, with every 1% of sales growth resulting in a 4% increase in customer contact center costs. What happened next, has been described by Ingka Group’s board as the most successful transformation in recent memory…

How IKEA transformed both customer experience and employee satisfaction

3. Proceed with caution

A view down a subway passage; a single person stands at the opposite end,

Many CFOs are selectively slowing down some hiring and investments — not necessarily a reflection of a softening economy, but more in response to today’s complex economic, policy and geopolitical environment in which inflation is moderating, but cost fatigue persists. This cautious approach reflects their efforts to navigate through a complex environment while also preparing for potential changes in policies and leveraging emerging technologies to drive future growth and efficiency. The CFOs are particularly attentive to upcoming changes in tax and regulatory policies, especially in the context of the 2024 elections, where Biden and Trump are key figures. They anticipate potential shifts in tax policies and are closely monitoring international taxation implications. So, what is on top of their agendas?

CFOs remain cautious on 2024 while keeping an eye on policy and AI

4. Move over gold, it’s time for silver to shine

A close up of ground up silver metal; a mixture of tiny pieces and large chunks.

In the global transition towards clean energy initiatives, silver is becoming a critical commodity in the metal basket. As an excellent conductor of electricity – even better than copper – silver allows for efficient flow of electrical current. This means it’s the ideal choice for the inner workings of things like solar panels. Though overall demand for silver was down by 10% in 2023, supply was still tight, which means that prices remain high. Over the coming quarters, Asian regions, especially India and China, will continue to drive high demand for silver jewellery. But industrial demand is expected to grow the most. In 2023, demand for silver from the industrial sector grew by an estimated 8% year over year, with continued investments in energy transition initiatives. On top of that, there’s growth in demand for EVs and electronic appliances, along with the rise in investments in 5G networks. So, what does this all mean for silver miners?

How silver miners can build long-term competitiveness amid transition towards greener economy

5. Maestros of money

A male hiker looking out over a valley at sunset.

A financial controller is like the conductor of an orchestra, but instead of guiding musicians, they oversee the financial operations of a company. They’re the maestros of money, responsible for orchestrating all aspects of financial management, from budgeting and forecasting to financial reporting and compliance. But the role is changing. Traditionally, the controller’s role was primarily transactional and internally focused. However, technological changes and business expectations are prompting a shift toward a more extroverted role. “The role of the controller is expanding beyond traditional accounting; it now demands a proactive, forward-thinking approach, embodying the role of a strategic business overseer,” says Raghvendra Singh, EY Asia-Pacific CFO Advisory Leader. There’s also ESG to consider. The recent need for measurement and reporting of a company’s sustainability performance, also now sits with controllers…

How the role of financial controller is evolving