Thought Leadership - Sharing insights

2019 is the year for what exactly?

Big River Solutions: Say HelloAn opportunity to gaze in wonderment at the motivational quotes that are posted on LinkedIn in January (has everyone morphed into Anthony Robbins over Christmas?) or is this the year that we do what we did last year because that was pretty successful? Whatever your ambitions are for 2019 “Good luck”.

If you’re operating in the UK, we’ve got the Brexit question to deal with. If you are in the USA there is that twittering Presidential character to watch. In South Africa, there is an economic story that is changing the status quo and in Australia, the downturn in the Chinese economy may have a part to play in domestic prosperity. And that’s before we look at the EU or Russia.

Either way 2019 has its challenges and its opportunities. The true-ism is that when GDP is growing some companies are seeing explosive growth, whilst others hit the rocks. Equally the reverse is true in recessions, someone is always winning.

What of the world-class UK food standards? Where do we stand on the reduction of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in our food supply post-Brexit? Our farmers are global leaders in this area. So will our trade agreement with the US impact on our world-leading food standards? What is AMR? Simply put the removal of antibiotics in the food chain. The human race is becoming too resistant to antibiotics due to modern day food production techniques.

Apple has announced a slow down in iPhone sales. To the consumer, this is not a surprise. As a big fan of the iPhone, I can’t see a reason to upgrade anymore or download an iTune. Will this Apple TV thing ever come to pass? What’s the benefit of an Apple watch? Watches are round and affordable unless it’s a classic. Is the Apple watch a classic?

I use Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google G Suite. Streaming platforms now account for 45% for the global film and music industry. Has Apple lost its way?

I can’t remember the last time I downloaded an App and my Fitbit is great at telling me how many steps I have NOT taken today (yeah it’s rectangular but it monitors me. It has one job and that’s the benefit).

This week the UK Government announced that electricity consumption had declined to 1984 consumption levels to 5TWh hours per capita. Why? Electricity efficiency has increased, highlighted by the small step of introducing LED lighting at home!

China has landed an unmanned rocket on the dark side of the moon, a great geopolitical statement by a country that still delivers a 5% GDP (which some think is a catastrophic decline after two decades of double-digit expansion). What is the commercial value of landing on the dark side of the moon? History now suggests that Russia won the last space race by not being the first to land on the moon, but by developing its program for space flight duration. Will China win the robotics race in space? If so space exploration has suddenly become much more affordable.

So what of our food in these times of change? People have to eat, but as I am reminded every day we can choose what we want to eat. If we want a USA trade agreement we will need to accept the USA food standards and yes that will include chlorinated chicken. Agriculture is always the last thing to be agreed in a trade deal. That could be a Brexit cost or an opportunity!

Finally, Next PLC results tell us that a 9% decline in high street spending at their stores has been lost on the increase in their online sales and increased operating efficiency. Next delivered a 1.5% increase in profits. Further confirmation that the High Street has to change to survive.

This year I’m going to declutter and focus on the important stuff, growing my business, spending better quality time with those I love and being kinder to myself.

Sounds great. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Whatever your plans. Have a successful 2019, whatever you choose to do.