Within their own businesses, more than eight in 10 CEOs (83 percent) describe themselves as confident in their company’s growth prospects for the next 3 years, with around half (47 percent) saying they are very confident. Almost seven in 10 (68 percent) say they are evolving their skills and personal qualities to better lead their business. These findings have emerged from the most recent KPMG - Global CEO Outlook 2017 survey.
While CEOs are focusing on evolving their businesses, they are also evolving their own role – 70 percent of CEOs say they are now more open to new influences and collaborations than at any other point in their career.
“CEOs understand that speed to market and innovation are strategic priorities for growth in uncertain conditions,” says John Veihmeyer, Chairman, KPMG International. “At the same time, they are being pragmatic about managing uncertainty – this includes strengthening their business in established markets so they can protect their bottom line while preparing to seize new opportunities.”
In light of operating within an increasingly transparent business environment, three quarters of CEOs (74 percent) say their organization is placing greater importance on trust, values and culture in order to sustain its long-term future. CEOs are seeing this trend continue for the immediate future: 65 percent agreed that levels of trust in business will stay the same or decline in the next 3 years.
“Today´s customers are more and more demanding, and the way how to keep them and at the same time attract new ones is to constantly seek solutions and procedures that will be tailor-made to them and with which they will be so satisfied that they will trust the company even on other occasions. The key to success is a keen and competent team that feels support from management, as well as co-responsibility for the future of the company,” says Ľuboš Vančo, Chairman of the Partner Board, KPMG in Slovakia.
More than seven in 10 (72 percent) correlate being a more empathetic organization with higher earnings. Companies today are increasingly realizing that building trust is consistent with their business objectives.
One of the most striking changes in this year’s survey is the rise in the number of CEOs who cite reputational and brand risk as a top current concern. This is the third most important risk (out of 16 in total), after not featuring in the top 10 in 2016. CEOs also see reputation and brand risk as having the second biggest potential impact on growth over the next 3 years.
Cyber security, which CEOs ranked at the top risk in 2016, has this year fallen to position 5 (of 16), in part, reflecting CEO views on the progress their business has made in cyber risk management. Today, four in 10 (42 percent) say they feel adequately prepared for a cyber event – up from 25 percent in 2016.
The survey covers 1,261 CEOs in 10 key markets (Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and US) and 11 key industry sectors (automotive, banking, infrastructure, insurance, investment management, life sciences, manufacturing, retail/consumer markets, technology, energy/utilities and telecom). A third of the companies surveyed have more than US$10B in annual revenue, with no responses from companies under US$500M. The survey was conducted between 21 February and 11 April 2017.
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