The business climate of today is one that is unflinchingly complex, riddled with uncertainty and requires a heightened amount of physical, mental and emotional stamina.
This landscape is particularly challenging for any chief executive officer to navigate - especially when such an individual is supposed to be the captain that steers the ship in the right direction. As such, this leader needs to develop a broad range of proficiencies that matches such difficulties head on.
With that said, let's explore five different issues that keep a CEO up at night.
Issue 1: Globalisation
With the unavoidable acceleration of globalisation, the new business world order would be marked by an increased number of international teams and waning loyalty between companies and their workers. For this reason, organisations need to be nimble and collaborative in order to successfully manage these global resources.
This then puts pressure on the CEO, who has to find ways to be alert, adaptable, mobile and culturally attuned. In addition, he/she must also have an acute conceptual and critical thinking capabilities that would help them manage the numerous risks and potential dangers associated with globalisation.
Issue 2: Drastic Demographic Changes
With the ageing population on the rise, demographic inequalities are emerging rapidly. This, in turn, leads to a shortage of much-needed proficiencies, and organisations are then faced with the constant battle for talent.
CEOs are now tasked with formulating compelling policies that help with attracting, motivating and retaining their increasingly diverse employees - which also include international workers - to stay competitive.
Issue 3: Corporate Social Responsibility
It is no secret that companies which do not have some kind of sustainability efforts in place, tend to score very low points in the court of public opinion. For this very reason, CEOs are perennially struggling with formulating policies that strike the elusive balance between "people" and "profits".
Issue 4: Impact of Digitisation
It is a known fact that as technology advances, it will continue to smudge the boundaries that exist between personal and professional lives, widen the generational divides, and alter the power dynamics in favour of digitally savvy workers (who can now work anywhere with a WiFi connection).
This means that companies are increasingly becoming virtual, and CEOs must figure out how to identify and leverage the skills of today's digital natives and integrate them with that of the "traditional" workers (who aren't exactly tech proficient) so as to move their businesses into the new dawn of digitisation.
Issue 5: Disruption and Innovation
These two "buzzwords" weigh heavily on the mind of every CEO. They're constantly wondering how they can utilise technological advancements and the plethora of consumer information to come up with disruptive innovations that position their companies as thought leaders.
If you’re a CEO (or someone who has the ear such C-suite executive) please let us know what other challenges that you face.
Written by Sandra McLeod @Locomote