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Leading from the centre

CEOs continue to focus on growth and are taking greater hands-on responsibility to achieve it.

Bill Michael
Chairman
KPMG in the UK

A host of dynamic and complex challenges face CEOs in 2018, but the overwhelming majority remain optimistic.

That’s the conclusion from our survey of 1,300 CEOs from some of the world’s largest companies - including more than 150 in the UK.

Two-thirds feel confident about the global economic outlook. Even more back the growth prospects of their own organisations. And a growing majority see disruptive technologies as an opportunity, rather than a threat.

But their optimism is tempered by realism. Cyber risk and the challenge of connecting with customers in a digital world remain big concerns, while geopolitical uncertainty is hitting boardrooms hardest.

More than half CEOs cite the ‘return of territorialism’ as the biggest threat to growth. Unsurprisingly, with Brexit approaching, it ranks even higher in the UK, reflected in lower revenue forecasts for the next three years.

But what stands out for me, particularly in the UK findings, is how CEOs continue to focus on growth and are taking greater hands-on responsibility to achieve it.

The most successful are doing this by leading from the centre. They are placing themselves at the heart of their organisations - staying in touch with every part of the business and injecting agility, resourcefulness and realism where and when it is needed.

They recognise that it’s from here they have the best chance of transforming performance and achieving lasting success.

 

Bill Michael
Chairman, KPMG in the UK