Warren Buffett's small-town wisdom has translated into risk-savvy financial success. His insight above also crystallizes two of the most pressing challenges that companies confront in the face of unprecedented volatility and complexity in the global marketplace: the twin needs for more foresight and responsiveness. To thrive amid growing uncertainty and opacity, organizations need to sharpen their forward-looking vision so that they can respond — more quickly and effectively than competitors can — to unexpected potholes, traffic and detours. The key to becoming more responsive to market dynamics, a concept Protiviti refers to as an "early mover," is to recognize the signs of emerging opportunities and risks before they become common knowledge across the industry.
Veolia Water, a Paris-based global leader in the environmental services industry, is honing its decision-making foresight as part of a transformational effort that Antoine Frérot, chairman and chief executive officer of parent company Veolia Environnement, describes as a "strategy of profitable growth.'"