Appearing in In The Black magazine, April 2020
AI’s Asian impact
A comprehensive survey of Asian countries conducted by MIT as part of its Technology Review Insights research program has found that AI will create more winners than losers, but its spread will nevertheless involve a period of significant disruption. Over three-quarters of companies expect total headcount to increase over the next five years, including in functions where AI is already being deployed. However, across the region about 12 per cent of current jobs are at high risk of being automated in the next five years. Labor-constrained markets such as Singapore, Australia and Japan are likely to be among the fastest to seize the opportunities created by AI.
A useful resource for those who want to improve their presentation ability is the site of communications consultants Storytelling With Data. A recent blog looks at innovative ways to communicate complex data in visual form, moving well beyond traditional pie charts and bar graphs. Other blogs discuss the importance of practice, how to get the best from feedback, and trends revealed at recent conferences and events.
The company site offers blogs in written and auditory forms, as well as podcasts with a variety of experts. Given the importance of presentation skills for finance professionals, it is well worth a look.
Read, watch, and listen to at:
The International Monetary Fund collects a huge amount of economic and financial information, much of it available through its regular World Economic Outlook report, released in April and September/October each year. The report presents the IMF staff’s analysis of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups and in many individual countries.
However, the WEO report is only one part of the IMF’s research activities. The site also provides links to specialised reports, including the future of global manufacturing and the impact of growing protectionism, policy challenges for emerging economies, and the outcomes of a conference on debt.
In a survey of 951 Australian employers, three-quarters of respondents said that they were more likely to shortlist a qualified candidate who demonstrates a commitment to upskilling and continuous learning, with an emphasis on ‘soft’ rather than technical abilities. A similar figure nominated “communication” as the most important skill, followed by “adaptability”, and then “digital proficiency in a new technology relevant to an individual’s job”. Coding skills were nominated by only six per cent.
Employers are looking for people who can collaborate across the organisation, and who can pivot to a new role or area of responsibility as circumstances change.
KPMG’s sixth annual survey of corporate reporting trends in Australia has found that 74 per cent of large listed companies are now using integrated reporting to focus on value drivers, up from 48 per cent in 2018. Many large non-listed companies have also turned to integrated reporting. The trend is driven by increasing investor interest, especially from super funds, and changes to the ASX reporting recommendations.
A common thread in the survey interviews was that the process of developing integrated reporting starts to drive integrated thinking within the organisation, and the better use of resources and relationships in strategy execution.