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The So What from BCG

54 EpisodesProduced by Boston Consulting Group BCGWebsite

This podcast from Boston Consulting Group looks around the corner of today’s big business and social issues. The goal–the so what–is to make sense of today and prepare busy leaders and executives for the day after tomorrow. Award-winning British journalist Georgie Frost interviews the leading thinke… read more

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Can Business Sustain the UN’s Sustainability Goals?

September 13th, 2023


In 2015, the UN established Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. In 2023, we are halfway there and have achieved only about 12% of those goals. Rich Hutchinson, global leader of BCG’s Social Impact …

Unexamined Spending Is Wasteful Spending

August 30th, 2023


Cost-cutting gets a bad rap, but the exercise is actually an opportunity to find money that can be reinvested in the business. Mark Austin, BCG’s global topic leader of cost and zero-based transformation, challenges …

From the Archive: What to Teach the World of the Future

August 16th, 2023


As the school year approaches, we are reaching into The So What from BCG archives. Join us as we revisit our examination of why education remains …

How to Run Your Company to Thrive in 2050

August 2nd, 2023


How do the top 5% of companies ascend to their spots—and stay there? Extensive BCG research shows that they excel in six areas, among them: focusing …

Who Is Building the Metaverse? And Does It Matter?

July 19th, 2023


Jessica Apotheker, chief marketing officer of BCG and BCGX, and Akbar Hamid, co-founder of People of Crypto Lab, explain how the metaverse can combine the best of the physical and virtual worlds to create a seamless …

Designing Your AI Blueprint

July 5th, 2023


AI is evolving daily, challenging businesses to adjust and adapt. Vladimir Lukic, global leader of BCG’s Tech & Digital Advantage practice, …

Are Your Employees Captivated or Captured?

June 21st, 2023


Leaders frequently talk about purpose and vision. Too often, these concepts get stuck at the top and do not cascade down throughout the organization. BCG’s David Ritter explains how organizations can unlock latent …

Do We Need Humans Anymore in Customer Journeys?

June 7th, 2023


Customers are demanding speed and convenience in their interactions with companies. Technology, especially artificial intelligence, is often better …

The World Is Fragmented, Not Flat

May 24th, 2023


The post–World War II order of free markets, democratic government, and global institutions is breaking apart, argues Nikolaus Lang, who leads BCG’s …

What We Do and Don’t Know About Generative AI

May 10th, 2023


Sylvain Duranton helps companies build AI-enabled businesses. As the the global leader of BCG X, he has a front row seat to the generative AI …

Leadership in an Era of Uncertainty and Change

April 26th, 2023


CEOs generally face either economic uncertainty (the Great Recession) or great change (the digital-driven era preceding the pandemic). Today’s leaders are facing both at the same time, explains Rich Lesser, BCG’s chair. …

Social Business Needs a Net Zero

April 12th, 2023


Companies and banks have often pursued social goals such as financial inclusion as an obligation rather than a business opportunity. Douglas Beal, who leads BCG’s client work with financial institutions on sustainable …

Financial Crime Is Everybody’s Business

March 29th, 2023


Financial crime has become big business. The United Nations estimates that 2%–5% of global GDP is laundering every year. If businesses—all …

When Shopping and Entertainment Collide

March 15th, 2023


In Indonesia, consumers began mixing together several orders of McDonald’s soft serve ice cream into a dessert mashup. Videos of this quirky development quickly went viral, and the trend spread to Thailand. Rather than …

The Return on Inclusion Is Real—and Measurable

March 1st, 2023


Nadjia Yousif, BCG’s chief diversity officer, explains how an inclusive workforce creates happier employees who are more likely to stay—and she has …

Capitalism and Communities of Color

February 15th, 2023


James Lowry has devoted most of his professional life trying to bring corporations and minority communities closer together. While Lowry views many of the corporate diversity efforts in the 1960s and 1970s as charity, …

Responsible AI to the Rescue

February 1st, 2023


Artificial intelligence has generated both business rewards and reputational risk for companies. Consumers and customers have legitimate concerns over the use of AI in business. The best way to address those concerns, …

Software Is Eating Your Car

January 18th, 2023


In 2011, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously declared that “software is eating the world,” meaning it would disrupt traditional industries. …

The Digital Divide Is Everybody’s Business

January 4th, 2023


Three decades after the development of the commercial Internet, nearly half the world’s 8 billion people do not have access to high-speed Internet. …

Looking Under the Hood of the Wealth Machine

December 21st, 2022


Over the past 20 years, assets under management of financial firms have nearly quadrupled to more than $110 trillion, powered by the growth in equity values. Dean Frankle—who leads BCG’s asset and wealth management in …

Economic Uncertainty Can Be Your Friend

December 7th, 2022


Linear thinking is valuable when the environment is relatively stable and familiar. But in uncertain economic times, executives also need to think expansively about the future, analyzing a range of potential scenarios. …

What COP 27 Means for Africa

November 23rd, 2022


COP27, the global climate conference in Egypt, represented a mix of accomplishments and frustrations. Wealthy nations agreed to establish a fund to help pay for the loss and damage that their emissions have imposed on …

Can Our Green Future Also Be Fair?

November 9th, 2022


We often hear that the climate transition must also be a just transition. But how can we make that happen when, for example, coal remains both the largest source of energy in the world and a source of steady income for …

BCG Presents: Climate Vision 2050--The Ballad of the Wind Rigger

November 3rd, 2022


It’s 2050 and we’re exploring how the world radically reduced carbon emissions and saved itself from climate catastrophe. What have our cities done …

Climate Adaptation and the Cost of Inaction

October 26th, 2022


How well will the world adapt to ever more extreme climate events? To date most government and business leaders are focusing on climate mitigation at the expense of climate adaptation. Charmian Caines, a senior partner …

Values Are for Everywhere

October 11th, 2022


Corporate values are more important than ever. Should companies boycott countries with values they do not share? Kushal Khandhar, global Pride@BCG …

The Economy's Conflicting Signals

September 28th, 2022


Inflation is higher than it’s been in a generation, but policy makers still have room to maneuver. Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak, BCG’s global chief …

Talent Hiding in Plain Sight

September 14th, 2022


Are companies looking for talent in all the wrong places? Only 10% of jobs are filled by internal lateral candidates. Companies need better ways to find internal candidates especially those who work in a different part …

Beating the Digital Natives at Their Own Game

August 31st, 2022


Are traditional companies, long derided for being sluggish and stuck in the past, about to undergo a renaissance? Patrick Forth, of BCG’s Technology, …

BCG presents: In Her Ellement - Growing in Tech with Women Who Code's Alaina Percival

August 17th, 2022


The future of the tech industry depends on women. So how do you grow that tech career, and why is imposter syndrome sometimes a good thing? In this episode, hear from our new podcast series In Her Ellement, where AI …

Talent Is Universal. Opportunity Is Not.

August 3rd, 2022


Johann Harnoss doesn’t just advise companies on innovation and global talent mobility. He also has cofounded a nonprofit organization to help students from nations such as Syria and Afghanistan secure jobs in Europe. In …

How Can the World Achieve Health Equality?

July 20th, 2022


In an interconnected world, global health is not just a scientific aspiration but an economic one. As supply shortages brought on by factory shutdowns in China demonstrate, a disease outbreak in one part of the world …

To Reduce Emissions, You Have To Measure Them

July 6th, 2022


Companies will never achieve net zero unless they can measure their emissions, and few of them do it successfully. Only about one in ten companies …

What to Teach the World of the Future

June 22nd, 2022


While the world races ahead into the metaverse, education remains rooted in the era of neat orderly rows of desks and lesson plans. In this wide-ranging conversation, Leila Hoteit, the managing director and senior …

We Need More Tim Cooks in the C-Suite

June 8th, 2022


Over the past two years, the world has seen what happens when supply and procurement chains seize up and shortages in such staples as infant formula …

Why Being Out at Work Matters

May 25th, 2022


A Pride@BCG leader talks about how a supportive culture unlocks creativity. For Dakota Santana-Grace, being out at work is a professional necessity …

How Can My Shopping Save The Planet?

May 11th, 2022


Corporate leaders often view sustainable products as a series of technical challenges—how to decarbonize the supply chain, reduce waste in manufacturing, eliminate plastic packaging, and so on. But what about the human …

Rewriting the Unwritten Rules at Work

April 27th, 2022


Nan DasGupta played soccer in her youth and worked as an engineer at GE early in her career, so she has firsthand experience breaking into male-dominated realms. DasGupta, BCG people and organization expert and …

Rich Lesser on Climate, Hard Truths, and Hope

April 13th, 2022


Businesses that lead on climate and sustainability will have tailwinds at their back, says Rich Lesser, BCG’s global chair. Reaching net zero will require investments of $3 trillion to $5 trillion per year for the next …

When A Paycheck Is Not Enough

March 30th, 2022


Pay, promotion, and benefits have been the traditional carrots for hiring and retaining employees. But what happens when they are not enough? During the Great Resignation, companies have watched well-paid, decorated …

To Uncertainty and Beyond in the Travel Industry

March 16th, 2022


As the travel industry slowly awakens from the pandemic-induced slumber, airlines, hotel chains, and cruise lines face a highly uncertain and …

Why Tech Needs Women to Change the World

March 2nd, 2022


Neveen Awad, the daughter of an engineer, learned early in life “how fun it was to make machines do something.” As the only computer science major in …

Imagine If Companies Were Better at Imagination

February 16th, 2022


Why do CEOs struggle with the act of imagination when it comes naturally to 5-year-olds? And what happens when people and organizations seemingly …

Are You Bridging or Broadening the Racial Wealth Gap?

February 2nd, 2022


Organizations often view inclusion, along with its cousins diversity and equity, as a goal. But what if they start viewing it as a practice, an active commitment, and a way of doing business? Kedra Newsom Reeves, a BCG …

Your Brain Is Being Strip-Mined

January 19th, 2022


Cell phones, social media, messaging software, and multitasking are robbing our attention, as our monkey minds jump from one notification to another. …

Watch Your Language

January 5th, 2022


Ashley Grice finds great joy, meaning, and sometimes peril in words. As the CEO of BCG BrightHouse, Grice helps organizations find their purpose. Words are her instruments of trade. They can help bring strategy to life …

Happy Holidays, and See You in 2022!

December 29th, 2021


The So What from BCG is taking a short break over the holidays - if you’re celebrating, I hope you’re having a lovely time.

We’ve been hard at work …

Can We Fix Supply Chains in 2022 ?

December 15th, 2021


As the pandemic rumbles on, many countries have been suffering shortages and panic buying as global supply chains wobble. Much of that will likely ease over the coming months, but systemic challenges remain. 

In this …

Why the Way We Work Is Broken

December 1st, 2021


The pandemic has exposed fissures in the way we work, which is stuck in the industrial age. Deborah Lovich, who leads BCG’s people strategy topic, and Brian Elliott, executive leader and senior vice president of Future …

A Culture of Experimentation

November 17th, 2021


How can organizations become more experimental? Julia Dhar, the cofounder and leader of BeSmart, BCG’s behavioral economics and insights initiative, …

Across the Luxury Metaverse

November 3rd, 2021


Lil Miquela, a 19-year-old TikTok influencer with more than 3 million followers, has promoted Calvin Klein, Prada, and other top fashion brands. She …

Net Zero Will Pay for Itself

November 3rd, 2021


Most transitions are hard—the transition to net zero is especially so. But with political will, new business models, and major investments, saving …

Uncertainty Advantage

November 3rd, 2021


Uncertainty is not a dirty word. While it may be impossible to predict the future, preparing for it is possible. Alan Iny, BCG’s partner and director of creativity and scenarios, explains that scenario planning and …

The So What from BCG: Getting Down to Business

October 20th, 2021


This podcast gets straight to the point of ideas that will shape and disrupt the future. Award-winning British journalist Georgie Frost interviews the leading thinkers and doers at BCG on topics ranging from global …

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