What challenges are CEOs facing today?

Endaba Group

The role of a CEO will always be at the forefront of conversation and debate. Today’s world is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Risks today are higher, broader and more varied – political, economic, financial, currency, regulatory and reputational – manifesting in different ways across different parts of the world. Being a CEO today is not only about being a chief spokesperson, political strategist and running a business, but they are now faced with new, unprecedented challenges:

  1. Speed

Speed is the biggest challenge for CEOs in business today. How can they get ahead of market trends and help shape wants and needs of consumers? Angela Ahrendts, ex-Burberry CEO and their Creative Director Christopher Bailey recognised the potential of digital and mobile back in 2006 and quickly implemented a 5-year strategy. Burberry are now recognised as best-in-class and pioneers of digital because of their forward-thinking and innovative approach

  1. Finding, developing and retaining employees

A recent study showed that more than 40% of baby boomers stay with companies for more than 20 years, and millennials have 3 times as many job changes as the baby boomers! The younger working generation are moving between jobs much more frequently because they can and it’s accepted. How can a CEO ensure that their company compete and retain its employees?

  1. Reputation management

Information flow, within and outside of organisations, has increased exponentially; markets are more interconnected than ever; external relationships demand more attention; social media channels are crowded spaces. There are more reputational threats today than ever before. It’s increasingly pivotal for you to establish an identity for your company – a vision, purpose, and values – stay true to it and use it to drive growth. This is closely connected with…

  1. Being transparent

In our interconnected world where “off the record” no longer exists, CEOs need to tell the truth faster. For example, the biggest food fraud of the 21st century – the horsemeat scandal – found horsemeat in burgers from 4 British supermarkets, leading to the withdrawal of tens of millions of burgers and beef products across Europe, severely damaging many companies’ reputations due to their lack of transparency

  1. Innovation; both their own and others

Regarding innovation, CEOs have 2 main concerns, the first being their business model being interrupted by innovation. For example, home entertainment retailer Blockbuster at its peak in 2004 had over 9000 stores. Their business model was toppled by digital streaming providers, such as Netflix, and even underdog Redbox. They now have a total of 19 stores across the US. Their second, utilising innovation to challenge and disrupt other businesses. Smartphones are a multi-billion-dollar industry that have capitalised on their innovation, disrupting the way we do everything, from banking, using maps and entertainment. At Endaba, innovation is one of our core values and a priority in all that we do

  1. Harnessing a team’s excellence

The UK commission’s Employer Skills Survey reported nearly 2 million workers are believed to be underutilised. Key to harnessing your team’s excellence is recruitment, HR practices, development, career progression, communication and trust. This goes hand-in-hand with…

  1. Developing the right corporate culture

A strong culture underpins everything you do. The right feeling and energy can enhance your organisation. This isn’t only done through HR; the right tone and behaviour stems from the very top. Leveraging both culture and people can make your organisation more powerful unique and distinctive in comparison to competitors

Ultimately, the things that make companies truly great are slow to develop and do not happen overnight. It’s not just about speed, but it’s about strategy, which are both critical to success in a highly disruptive, competitive market. The sheer size and reach of many businesses and the current volatility of global economies make it more difficult to predict the future — and certainly more difficult for a single person to have all the answers. This leads us to pose a question about the relevance of CEOs today and whether we even need a CEO…?