Planned Supplies of Apple Products Are At Risk
Yesterday, Apple stocks plummeted on a forecast that protests and a shutdown at an assembly facility in China could affect iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max shipments in Q4. Also, Apple risks breaking a 14-quarter growth streak during the peak holiday period, marking its biggest supply chain challenge and risky situation since the onset of the pandemic.
The interdependence among countries, geopolitical competition, tech innovations (AI and semiconductors), and the private sector playing a key role are the four definitions of new trends in leadership and decision-making.
All these factors impact recruitment practices, intellectual property protection, facility siting strategies, or supply chain security efforts. But the way and degree of their interaction have generated a new paradigm of national security risk assessment, which is true for any business and company. I’d love to share with you the points of the forthcoming book A Perilous Moment: Navigating the New National Security Economy.
Let’s take a look at the rules:
1. Add experience. Many executive education programs focus on traditional business disciplines. Nowadays, we have to build geopolitical expertise internally and seek out leaders who are able to interpret and navigate how geopolitics intersects with business. In other words, these are people with more interdisciplinary backgrounds who understand geopolitics and have business acumen (or can learn new skills).
2. Ask the right questions. A national security economy lens must be applied to most plans that a company makes—from the viability of a potential overseas investment to screening and diligence of entities in its supply chain. Many seemingly mundane things may prove risky or fraught when viewed through the lens of the geopolitical consequences and a series of events that seem unlikely. If you look at the bigger picture, you are able to plan actions in the right way if unforeseen circumstances arise.
3. Accept that politics are inescapable. Many companies have historically tried to separate business and politics. Today, this is a false dichotomy in many situations, especially in international contexts. In many situations, companies are political actors with a national identity, and as such they want to understand what shapes their identity and those of the companies they interact with, e.g., a Chinese company seeks to make a deal to acquire a new technology, while its European counterpart is just looking to make money.
4. Consider reputational risks holistically. The new security economy gives rise to new forms of enhanced reputational risk that can affect companies, e.g., selling technology to countries under sanctions, pressure on companies to pull out of such markets, criticizing companies, etc. Doing this requires the capability to connect the dots by giving meaning to seemingly non-linked events, which together could have a significant business impact as a whole.
When I moved to Dubai two years ago and took my core business and team here, I certainly considered some of those risks. But times have changed dramatically, and we all have to adapt to new tough market conditions.
Are these tips helpful? They are. Otherwise, I wouldn’t post them. Thinking big and critically in the worst-case scenario has always been the right thing to do, even more so now. And that won’t change over time.