Home / Business Insider / VIDEOS: How are CEOs addressing the issues they consider most critical? | CEB

VIDEOS: How are CEOs addressing the issues they consider most critical? | CEB

Chuck Mitchell explains in this CEB Insight Minute.

ny5_6Designing a Platform for Innovation and Growth

Structure is a balance between form and freedom. Every organization needs a structure, but every structure must allow for the different needs of those who will use it. Which comes first, the people or the process? The answer is: both. Human-centered design starts with a strategy that incorporates business and people and allows work to proceed amid continual waves of change. The people who use this design are also balanced: between convergent thinkers who maintain the status quo and divergent thinkers who enable innovation.

Diverse groups generate more innovative ideas

It is now widely accepted that diverse groups generate more innovative ideas than homogenous ones. But diversity alone is meaningless without an inclusive culture that values and actively encourages diversity of thought. New research shows that senior leadership is the biggest enabler of innovation and that diversity of thought is the spark that ignites it. Therefore, it is crucial for CEOs and chief strategy officers to champion an inclusive culture. This report features interviews with experts and in-depth case studies from AT&T, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics (SGPPL), DBS (formerly the Development Bank of Singapore), and Kaiser Permanente.

Chuck Mitchell explains in this CEB Insight Minute: Can senior leaders improve innovation through a culture of inclusion?



What keeps CEOs awake at night?

The Conference Board’s CEO Challenge survey finds business leaders across the globe are zeroed in on not only what gets done but more importantly how things get done. They are shrugging off a relatively slow growing global economy and focusing on people, performance, reconnecting with customers, and reshaping the culture of work. They also see a renewed commitment to customers, innovation, and the corporate brand, aided by the use of big data, as keys to driving growth. And to accomplish this, they recognize the importance of developing an engaged workforce and a diverse and accountable leadership team.

The top five challenges identified are:

Developing the Leader of the Future

Leadership development has to change—for example leaders must be sensitive to group and generational dynamics. HR leaders can make this work by creating and promoting effective ongoing development programs, facilitating the rise of women to the upper echelons of the business, navigating global complexities to create truly international leaders, and helping today’s bosses understand new generations.

The landscape for business is fraught with challenges from economic instability to talent shortages, a squeeze on profits, regulatory revisions, income inequality, new trade agreements, and political change—to name a few. Business leaders need to forge ahead with strategies and tactics to maximize their organizations’ growth, and this report provides a detailed analysis of those strategies CEOs from around the world are employing to do just that. Six key business issues were presented to respondents, who ranked not only their strategies to deal with each but the hot button issues that are on their minds as 2016 begins.

Insight Minute: How are leaders planning for the challenges of 2016?

Chuck Mitchell explains in this CEB Insight Minute.

In 2015, CEOs across the globe profess a focus on topline growth, backed by product and process innovation and increased employee engagement and workforce upskilling. More importantly, they are not being driven by a win-at-all-cost pursuit of revenue or a short-term focus. What CEOs say they are seeking is high-quality sustainable growth, and the strategies they selected to meet their top challenges reveal a longer-term focus around capacity building and developing strong cultures around innovation, engagement, and accountability. Analysis includes results from two special sections to this year’s survey: strategies to raise productivity and strategies to become/remain a high-performing organization.

Even in the face of modest, if disappointing, global economic growth, CEOs are undeterred in their quest for new sources of growth. They say a strong, aligned leadership cadre, a highly engaged workforce, improved organizational agility, a focus on customers, and building an entrepreneurial spirit around innovation are the tools they need to make headway in a slower-growth environment. As the top challenge for 2015, CEOs view Human Capital in all its forms—from dynamic leadership to a skilled workforce cadre—as the primary fuel that will drive the engines of growth within their organizations.

Insight Minute: What do the results of the CEO Challenge mean for human capital leaders?

As the top challenge for 2015, CEOs view Human Capital in all its forms—from dynamic leadership to a skilled and engaged workforce cadre—as the primary fuel that will drive the engines of growth within their organizations. Results from the 2015 CEO Challenge survey show CEOs are committed to high-quality, sustainable growth through a “grow-your-own” strategy of talent development. They are looking to human capital practitioners to improve leadership effectiveness and foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship—all while raising employee engagement and providing the skills training needed to create the workforce of the future.

Women in business have come a long way, but moving to absolute parity with men requires continued planning and even consciousness raising on the part of both genders. Equality is not about men reaching across an invisible divide. It is about narrowing that divide. Women should pursue mentorship and sponsorship and use personal brands to distinguish and promote themselves. And companies should strategize diversity the way they strategize other business initiatives—including placing more women on corporate boards. Meanwhile, awareness of unconscious bias and of the added challenges LGBT workers face are the basis for creating an inclusive environment for every worker.


Ultimately, senior leadership needs to take ownership of the state of the organization’s talent and understand that the ability of any firm to execute its business strategy is directly tied to the quality and capabilities of its people. These questions are designed to help you open a meaningful conversation about talent and future skill building with key executives. The goal is to enable you to gain insight into the leader’s point of view so you can introduce the changes that will enhance the performance of the organization and its people.

Insight Minute: How can organizations ensure they have the capability to execute future strategy?

Amy Abel explains in this CEB Insight Minute.

Succession Management

There has been a lot of disruption in the past five years. To keep up with it, HR professionals and companies as a whole need to change their mindset about succession management. They must link the succession process to business priorities and take into account macro trends, such as the velocity of change, increased regulatory pressure, globalization of talent, increased transparency, and the higher level of focus on people and culture.

About Karly A.

Check Also

5 Tips for Recruiters to Engage Students

Consultants should take the time to inform candidates on the challenges and opportunities (earning a …