Davos 2020’s Mood of Optimism

What an amazing start to Davos 2020. The weather is terrific – certainly the best in the last four years I’ve been here. More importantly, the mood and economic sentiment this year seems positive. It’s markedly different from the sombreness of Davos 2019, perhaps an indication of the optimism for the decade ahead.

January 22, 2020

I attended the JLL and Harvard Business Review breakfast session moderated by HBR’s editor-in-chief on the Future of Work, where we exchanged ideas on how the concept of Work, Worker and Workplace are changing. I picked up a few interesting things, like how do you feel about a three to six month sabbatical for senior leaders? That idea found favour with quite a few in the room! It’s already being implemented in consulting firms like BCG and PwC.  

Another discussion that stood out for me these last two days is the science and art of measuring customer experience and if possible customer productivity. I have never heard the term “Net Promoter Score” or NPS used so frequently as I heard it on a panel discussion from three global CEOs from – Microsoft, Walmart and Volvo. Sounds like we at JLL made the right call to go on a similar customer loyalty journey. The consensus from these high-level discussions is that in order to drive the NPS, we need to drive our own employee satisfaction and that enterprise level satisfaction will generate the right behaviours  to drive client NPS. 

Another highlight for me was hearing Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella differentiate between Power Metrics versus Performance metrics. He made a great point that Performance Metrics are a lag indicator. They are useful and need to be measured but probably not as useful as Power Metrics, which have long term impact on the organisation – think sustainability and Diversity and Inclusion as two good examples of Power Metrics. 

Last but definitely not least, I had the fortune of spending some high quality time with the Aussie cricket great, Glenn McGrath and learn what the McGrath foundation is doing in support of breast cancer in Australia. I joked with him that he wasn’t very well liked by Indians for his nagged length which led to many demises and many losses within Indian cricket! Fantastic effort Glenn!

Susheel Koul 

Executive Managing Director IFM, Asia Pacific