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Inside the C-Suite: CEO Challenge 2016 | Hot-Button Issues

“Deep-seated anxieties about talent and human capital pervade this year’s survey results,” said Rebecca Ray, Ph.D., a co-author of the report and executive vice president of the Knowledge Organization at The Conference Board.

“From their hot-button issues for 2016 to their long-term strategies in multiple business areas, CEOs are wide awake to the risks posed by rapidly changing skill requirements, on one hand, and a historic slowdown in working-age population growth on the other.”

“We are in a slow-growth world with significant downside risks for the year ahead,” said Bart van Ark, Ph.D., another report co-author and executive vice president, chief economist and strategy officer at The Conference Board, in the release. “At the same time, technology continues to accelerate at an incredible pace, promising great rewards to organizations capable of seizing the initiative. To do so, they need to be aligned, agile, and innovative like never before—and our survey finds CEOs focused urgently toward that end.”

shutterstock_340118426The failure to attract and/or retain top talent was the most cited concern, followed by the need to develop next-generation leaders. Slowing growth in emerging economies, new global competitors, and volatility in cash flow round out the top five hot-button issues named by CEOs.

Additional key findings from CEO Challenge 2016:

  • Human Capital strategies have shifted noticeably in recent years from a belief that talent is readily available on the marketplace toward internal development and engagement.
  • CEOs consider inclusion fundamental to the Innovation and Digitalization challenge.
  • Five of the top ten Operational Excellence strategies named by CEOs relate to human capital.
  • Human capital is also intimately tied to Customer Relationships—CEOs recognize the importance of a culture in which everyone shares customer/brand responsibility.
  • Cyber security is the leading concern for CEOs in the area of Risk and Regulation.
  • CEOs take a holistic view of Sustainability, with an emphasis on integrating it with brand identity and marketing strategy.
Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel
The Conference Board, founded in 1916, is a global, independent business membership and research association that provides the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society.

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