Global CEO outlook survey

Global CEO outlook survey

New competitors and business models, changing customer demands and the potential for market disruption – despite a barrage of challenges, over 50 percent of global CEOs are confident in the ability of their company to grow over the next three years. But when 30 percent of CEOs believe their business isn’t taking enough risks with their global growth strategy and 56 percent admit they don’t have fully developed process in place for innovation – how prepared are CEOs for the future?

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There’s a positive feeling amongst CEOs, especially in ASPAC and Europe, when it comes to the prospects for the global economy and their businesses. In fact, 62 percent of global CEOs are confident in the economy’s potential for the next 3 years, while 54 percent are confident in the growth of their businesses. In the US, where the recovery is well underway, 19 percent are more confident than a year ago with another 46 percent expressing the same level of confidence about their prospects for growth.

A more stable economy is pressuring CEOs to focus more on growth than in recent years, with growth almost equal with operational efficiencies as the top focus for CEOs globally (i.e. 51 percent to 49 percent). And it’s not just the conservative growth we’d expect in a recovery period; 37 percent of CEOs categorize their growth strategy as very aggressive, while an additional 52 percent say it’s moderately aggressive. Risk appetite appears to be growing as well, with 30 percent of CEOs suggesting they aren’t taking enough risk as it relates to their growth strategy. 

Despite positivity, global CEOs recognize competitive challenges are growing exponentially. Among the issues keeping them up at night: Customer loyalty (86 percent); new entrants disrupting their business model (74 percent); and keeping current with new technologies (72 percent). 

To grow and remain relevant even as numerous disruptors transform the world around them, CEOs are looking for ways to transform their business –some more drastically than others. In fact, almost 30 percent of CEOs globally expect their organizations to be significantly different entities in three years – with transformation efforts focused on strategy, their business model and their operating model. 

When it comes to ensuring there are no limits to their future growth prospects, CEOs globally must begin to execute on the initiatives that they expect will transform them from where they are today to where they need to be in the future. While having a vision for the future is critical, CEOs need to start putting the people, processes and technologies in place today in order to ensure they can achieve their objectives in the future. 

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