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How we compete: what companies around the world are doing to make it in today's global economy - How We Compete: What Companies Around. - Foreign Affairs


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“We have to be as efficient as the newcomers,” BBVA Executive Chairman Francisco González said at an event organized by MIT Technology Review and BBVA in San Francisco, when describing the transformation process underway at BBVA to turn a conventional bank into a digital house. The process will allow BBVA to be part of the future competitive landscape in financial services, that will be formed by “some banks including BBVA, probably some startups and definitely some big digital players,” Francisco González said.

Francisco González joined experts from the fintech sector, startups, large corporations and investors at the seminar “Designing the Future of Finance: Perspectives from Champions of the Coming Revolution,” which was held at the World Economic Forum offices. Participants shared their ideas and thoughts around major issues affecting the financial industry.

In an interview with MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief Martin Giles , Francisco González recalled that BBVA began its digital journey 10 years ago. The transformation is a multidisciplinary effort that involves both technological platforms, as well as new processes, new people and talent, a new corporate culture and new products and services. “We have to be prepared to compete with the digital giants,” the BBVA Executive Chairman said.

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“We have to be as efficient as the newcomers,” BBVA Executive Chairman Francisco González said at an event organized by MIT Technology Review and BBVA in San Francisco, when describing the transformation process underway at BBVA to turn a conventional bank into a digital house. The process will allow BBVA to be part of the future competitive landscape in financial services, that will be formed by “some banks including BBVA, probably some startups and definitely some big digital players,” Francisco González said.

Francisco González joined experts from the fintech sector, startups, large corporations and investors at the seminar “Designing the Future of Finance: Perspectives from Champions of the Coming Revolution,” which was held at the World Economic Forum offices. Participants shared their ideas and thoughts around major issues affecting the financial industry.

In an interview with MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief Martin Giles , Francisco González recalled that BBVA began its digital journey 10 years ago. The transformation is a multidisciplinary effort that involves both technological platforms, as well as new processes, new people and talent, a new corporate culture and new products and services. “We have to be prepared to compete with the digital giants,” the BBVA Executive Chairman said.

Emily V. Gordon is the author of “Super You: Release Your Inner Superhero” and an executive producer of “The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail.”

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter .

One of the questions I get asked often is why are we non-competitive ? If you get me talking, I could go on for hours about this subject, so I thought it might be best to get my thoughts out in writing. There are many reasons studios choose to compete, and some aspects of competition are great learning tools for dance students, but for Sacred Ground Dance, we are trying desperately to raise honest, drama-free, well-rounded dancers in an increasingly expensive, commercialized & sexualized dance world… which for us means not participating in dance competitions.

Companies have a powerful tendency to compete on the basis of their core competencies rather than on the basis of the attributes that truly distinguish them in their customers’ eyes—what William Putsis calls “salient differentiators” in the excerpt below.

There are clear reasons for this unhelpful bias. First, building a core competency in an area such as manufacturing excellence or employee training and development is utterly within the control of management. But the achievement of salient differentiators is far less certain. Customers decide whether the attributes of an offering are really differentiated, and management has no right of appeal!

Second, companies that focus on core competencies can always go to their board of directors, demonstrate their competencies, and blame the fickleness of customers or unforeseen shifts in the markets for their lack of success. But if company leaders tell the board that they plan to win on the basis of specific salient differentiators and customers respond with a big “ho hum,” it will be obvious that the strategy was wrong.

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“We have to be as efficient as the newcomers,” BBVA Executive Chairman Francisco González said at an event organized by MIT Technology Review and BBVA in San Francisco, when describing the transformation process underway at BBVA to turn a conventional bank into a digital house. The process will allow BBVA to be part of the future competitive landscape in financial services, that will be formed by “some banks including BBVA, probably some startups and definitely some big digital players,” Francisco González said.

Francisco González joined experts from the fintech sector, startups, large corporations and investors at the seminar “Designing the Future of Finance: Perspectives from Champions of the Coming Revolution,” which was held at the World Economic Forum offices. Participants shared their ideas and thoughts around major issues affecting the financial industry.

In an interview with MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief Martin Giles , Francisco González recalled that BBVA began its digital journey 10 years ago. The transformation is a multidisciplinary effort that involves both technological platforms, as well as new processes, new people and talent, a new corporate culture and new products and services. “We have to be prepared to compete with the digital giants,” the BBVA Executive Chairman said.

Emily V. Gordon is the author of “Super You: Release Your Inner Superhero” and an executive producer of “The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail.”

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter .

One of the questions I get asked often is why are we non-competitive ? If you get me talking, I could go on for hours about this subject, so I thought it might be best to get my thoughts out in writing. There are many reasons studios choose to compete, and some aspects of competition are great learning tools for dance students, but for Sacred Ground Dance, we are trying desperately to raise honest, drama-free, well-rounded dancers in an increasingly expensive, commercialized & sexualized dance world… which for us means not participating in dance competitions.

You're currently on {{currently_on}}. However, it looks like you listened to {{listened_to}} on {{device_name}} {{time}}.

“We have to be as efficient as the newcomers,” BBVA Executive Chairman Francisco González said at an event organized by MIT Technology Review and BBVA in San Francisco, when describing the transformation process underway at BBVA to turn a conventional bank into a digital house. The process will allow BBVA to be part of the future competitive landscape in financial services, that will be formed by “some banks including BBVA, probably some startups and definitely some big digital players,” Francisco González said.

Francisco González joined experts from the fintech sector, startups, large corporations and investors at the seminar “Designing the Future of Finance: Perspectives from Champions of the Coming Revolution,” which was held at the World Economic Forum offices. Participants shared their ideas and thoughts around major issues affecting the financial industry.

In an interview with MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief Martin Giles , Francisco González recalled that BBVA began its digital journey 10 years ago. The transformation is a multidisciplinary effort that involves both technological platforms, as well as new processes, new people and talent, a new corporate culture and new products and services. “We have to be prepared to compete with the digital giants,” the BBVA Executive Chairman said.

Emily V. Gordon is the author of “Super You: Release Your Inner Superhero” and an executive producer of “The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail.”

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter .

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