With the economy's engines once again churning away — more strongly than at any point over the last two years — and the latest edition of our CEO Outlook survey gauges how leadership strategies and concerns have shifted during these demanding times. CEOs are confident in the growth prospects of their company and the global economy in general. They feel a strong connection to their organization’s purpose and are looking to expand their business to emerge stronger.
Drawing on the perspectives of 1,325 chief executives around the world, including 25 in Jordan in this inaugural edition for the country, this year’s survey offers a lens on how the thinking of CEOs has evolved as we emerge from the pandemic. Overall, three themes surfaced: the road to renewal and leaders’ optimism about the path to growth, the importance of following through on a trusted purpose by driving bold environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs, and the determination of CEOs to instill new levels of digital agility.
In a first-of-its-kind survey in Jordan, KPMG found that CEOs are confident about economic growth both in Jordan and around the world. CEOs are supporting growth by investing in technology, but are also emphasizing reskilling and training to make sure those investments are maximized. Inorganic growth strategies are also a popular choice to seize opportunities in a market increasingly defined by consumers moving online. The office is being redefined, and CEOs are assessing the future of work to ensure they can attract top talent. At a time of societal change and uncertainty, CEOs are putting ESG at the center of their organization’s long-term growth strategies and leading with purpose. It’s been encouraging for me to see this trend and to see business leaders successfully tie their organization’s economic success to their ESG agendas.
KPMG in Jordan
Today’s connected CEOs embrace tough leadership challenges. They can deliver on their purpose commitments, making the environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments and changes necessary to address inequity and launch the race to net zero. They look to drive growth and prosperity through digital agility and business model innovation, while aiming to ensure aggressive technology investments are matched by investment in human capabilities and skills. They pursue purpose to drive profitability and long-term growth while also recognizing their wider responsibilities to planet and people.
Key developments are focused on how today’s CEOs in Jordan are people-first and digitally enabled to grow their organizations and emerge stronger:
- CEOs are optimistic, confident and expect aggressive growth through acquisitions and other inorganic methods. They continue to put an emphasis on inorganic growth and digital investments.
- With increased stakeholder pressure, CEOs are supercharged to increase investment into ESG priorities and to double down on the purpose of their organizations. 76% of the survey respondents say they have shifted the focus to the social component of ESG as a result of their response to the pandemic.
- With people returning to places of work, and society increasingly looking for business to lead a return to normal, CEOs are shying away from making wholesale changes to the future of work — but they recognize employee demand for continued flexibility.