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A fast-moving, ever-changing marketplace that reaches across the globe presents unique challenges that today’s top business leaders face every day. How they meet these hurdles, and what keeps them up at night is examined in the CEO Challenge® 2015. The survey of more than 900 business leaders provides a summary on the strategic and tactical priorities of chief executives around the world.

How are today’s leaders tackling the concerns they find most critical?

What are the most pressing issues for today’s CEOs?

Changes in customer behaviour. Consumer habits are changing. The digital revolution has transformed consumer demands. Technological advances mean customers have become accustomed to (and are expecting) a more personalised experience. To stay relevant, corporate leaders are aware they need to keep pace with, and embrace, the digital age.

New global competitors. Customers have a global marketplace at their fingertips. No organisation expecting growth can ignore the growing pressure from worldwide competition entering the market at breakneck speed.

Slowing economic growth in emerging markets. Growth in developing economies is projected to be sluggish in 2015, report chief economists, a prediction that CEOs watch closely.

European financial instability. Today’s CEOs report concern over the economic crises that have led to financial volatility in the European marketplace, and the far-reaching global effects of the instability.

Technology risks. Information technology risk, or cyber security, is rapidly becoming one of the top concerns for today’s corporate leadership. Data breaches and gaps in online security can lead to colossal financial consequences.

Social media management. Social media has changed business. Global trends are tracked real time, with products and services “liked” or dismissed as old news at lightening-speed. Forward-moving organisations respect social media’s power and the great influence consumer forums have on reputation.

How are today’s leaders tackling the concerns they find most critical?

Putting customers first. Implementing a consumer-centric approach that makes a positive customer experience job one is the most commonly reported strategy for increased and sustainable growth.

Employee accountability. Leadership is working to increase efficiency and morale by encouraging an environment where employees accept ownership for their own success, as well as the success of the organisation.

Empower employees. When staff members know their input and ideas are considered important, productivity increases. CEOs are working to build and maintain a culture where employees feel they are supported in making and executing significant decisions.

Putting people first is the key to global market success.

The massive influence of technology on business notwithstanding, CEOs around the world are focused on people. From the development of human capital to embracing a consumer-first approach, today’s top leaders know that people—their ideas, actions, attitudes and opinions—are key to success in our global marketplace.

For information on how Coventry University College Online prepares leaders of tomorrow, learn more about our online Management and Leadership BA (Hons).


Photo: CIO 100

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