Beginning by apologising for appearing casual, Fred Kindle, the president and CEO of ABB explained that the last time he was in Orlando, he was permanently scarred by his experience at Wet and Wild, ending up with his swim suit around his neck. This was a good lead in to his talk.
“The world is becoming a very uncertain place,” he said, with good news and bad news. “Globalization is simply a fact. Consolidation is also a fact. Capital efficiency is also a fact,” he declared. The proliferation and growth of hedge funds and private capital have guaranteed that “we must either generate the right returns or give up control of our destiny.”
But, “the world is rich in new opportunities,” Kindle said. There is amazing growth in China and India, Brazil and Russia. There are new markets waiting to step up to our level of productivity: Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia…who is going to help you reach those markets, Kindle asked.
There is challenge and also opportunity in new technologies like blogs and wikis and even YouTube, Kindle said. “Do you have the abillity to convert this to profitability?”
These strategic themes, Kindle said, are all both good news/bad news. For example, he revealed, while most people are watching the oil shortage, ABB is paying even closer attention to the copper and the electric steel shortages.
And, he noted, whether or not you believe in global warming, the political climate is changing and will bring new challenges in the form of regulations and legislation.
How do we cope with the increasing uncertainty in the world?, Kindle asked.
We need to learn to collaborate, he said, because when you collaborate you can share the cost of coping with the uncertainty.
BlackBerry service provided by Nextel