Davos 2016: What will it add up to for corporate reporting?

Posted
27 January, 2016

The great and the good are at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in the lofty Swiss town of Davos this week to discuss the world’s economic and social issues. At the turn of the last century the literati of Europe, from Robert Louis Stevenson to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, escaped to take in the fresh air (high up at 5,100 feet) and inspiration. This time it’s the glitterati of the global business and political world holding the skis.

The Global CEO Survey

We launched our 19th Annual Global CEO Survey Tuesday night at the WEF meeting, which includes insights into the optimism (or otherwise) for growth and what’s on the CEO agenda. What’s emerged for me is an interesting picture of the themes that will impact corporate reporting and trajectory that takes the world towards more holistic, broader reporting. For me, that means integrated reporting.

My key stats summary

So what is there to report? Below I’ve listed my vital statistics from Davos as I see them:

2,500 attendees at WEF Davos 2016,
750 of which will be CEOs.
1,409 Global CEOs have been surveyed by PwC.
3 Core capabilities identified by the survey for managing successfully into the future – the first is addressing the expectations of a broader stakeholder group (i.e. not just investors).
76% of CEOs define business success by more than financial profit and
59% want to better communicate their purpose and values.
50% of CEOs are concerned climate change will impact growth prospects and
73% are concerned that social instability will do the same. The latter isn’t surprising when you read Oxfam’s report, also launched for the WEF meeting:
62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world whose wealth has declined by 40% over the last 5 years.
52% of CEOs believe creating value for wide stakeholders helps them to be profitable.
27% of CEOs believe that customers seek relationships with organisations considering stakeholder impact &
39% believe that business should do more to measure environmental impact.

 

All this totals, of course:

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5,100 Feet – the heady height at which these trends are being discussed!

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Where next?

These statistics begin to reveal a changing picture of what’s key to CEOs’ growth projections. But the real challenge (and opportunity) will be in translating this to current reporting infrastructures – both internal management information and external reporting.

The solution is not straightforward, but beginning to unpick some of the elements of the business model and strategy disclosure requirements for external reporting seems like a sensible starting point. For me, that means digging deeper into understanding the true cost of doing business and driving greater insights on the broader outcomes achieved. This links in well with the poolside reading I recommended last summer (!) – PwC’s practical guide for a new business language. It should come with the skis.

 

This blog was originally posted on PwC’s website