With U.S. CEOs committed to global expansion amid concerns about how long the current economic expansion can continue, it is crucial for organizations to attempt resilient growth. Such resilience can be attained by:
- Incorporating sustainable growth goals in their strategies, and creating value in the communities they operate in and the markets they target.
- Continued focus on internal innovation and R&D investments, especially when it comes to their core assets and services.
- When forming partnerships and merging with other companies, CEOs can help align market opportunities and shared strategy, defining each party’s operational execution roles and assessing the ability to unite corporate cultures. Using data analytics tools in the process of M&A for more precise due diligence can help better understand a prospective partner.
CEOs are facing a disruption dilemma—they acknowledge that their organizations’ growth relies on their ability to challenge and disrupt any business model, but are less inclined to do so than a year ago. They also understand that being too slow in business leads to irrelevance. To achieve resilience, they need to first redefine it by:
- Making agility—defined as a set of mature innovation processes—a top capability that helps ensure companies are able to respond to new market disruption as part of normal business activity and keeping the pace inside the company at least on par with the external pace of change.
- Adopting a broad view of agility that includes integration of the innovation process with funding and outcomes tracking and creating an innovation process that is repeatable, scalable and pervasive.
- Continued focus on constant review and improvement of innovation structures and creating formal innovation frameworks that incorporate the latest technologies in the process of innovation itself.
Technology is a key driver of disruption and it is also the top risk. Thus, the ability to balance technology’s risks and opportunities is imperative for staying competitive and engendering the trust of stakeholders. CEOs are:
- Recognizing that advanced technology implementations are a multi-step process, and the complexity, scope and timelines of such projects can be a moving target. Adjustments in implementation schedules can be caused by identifying new uses and areas that new technologies can impact.
- When possible, gaining the early mover advantage. It is key, especially with technologies such as AI. Organizations that gain this advantage will likely find themselves in a much better position to expand their business.
- Embedding cyber security in the overall change programs. Cyber security needs to be aligned with enterprise risk and not viewed as a standalone solution and also can be positioned as a competitive advantage to gain stakeholders’ trust.
Workforce and customer resilience
CEOs recognize that in this technology-driven era, it all comes down to people. Creating shareholder value starts with creating value for all stakeholders. To this end, the “people first” approach should include:
- Constant modernization of the workforce, and a holistic approach that combines strategic hiring and skills development; upskilling and reskilling the current workforce to deal with technologies that might be perceived as posing a threat to their jobs; and creating a purpose-driven company in which employees become highly engaged in their work and are rewarded for their creative engagement.
- Constant focus on furthering the understanding of customer expectations and recalibrating customer experience to deliver profitable growth and aligning the company’s values with customers’ values.