Leading Through Connections – What CEOs Can Learn from the Global IBM Study
A recently released study, Leading Through Connections, from IBM of more that 1,700 CEOs from over 64 countries provides some interesting insights into emerging trends and issues impacting organizations worldwide.
Top Trends Identified
- Advancements in social technologies to engage with customers, employees, partners, investors and the world at large
- 50% of CEOs expect social channels to be a primary way of engaging customers within 5 years
- Complexity of increased levels of connectedness of organizations, markets, societies and governments
- Overflow of data and information
A Connected Organization Requires Planning
- Frustration about their inability to capitalize on available information and translate insights into action better than industry peers
- 25% of CEOs say their organizations operate below par in driving value from data
- The CEO and C-Suite Need to:
- Recognize and lead change to open, constructive and flexible organizational culture
- Create clear strategy, sense of purpose and corporate values to support employees and guide decisions and action
- Improve internal communication and corporate collaboration utilizing advances in technology
- Build future proof employees who are equipped to adapt – who are collaborative, communicative, creative and flexible
CEOs and organizational leaders must be on top of changes and advancements in technology. They must understand how these will affect both the external business environment and the internal organization.
“Simply put, technology is reinventing connections with – and among – employees, customers and partners”.
Strategic Thinking = Success
To be a successful organization of the future, the CEO and the Executive Team need to follow a true strategic thinking process – one that enables them to develop a clear strategy and distinctive positioning for their organization. This process needs to take into account the anticipated changes in the future environment including the rapid advancements in technology. The team needs to determine whom they will serve and equally as importantly, whom they will not serve. They must make decisions about products, services, and the scope of the organization.
This strategic profile provides a tangible, actionable and clear vision of the organization’s future, allowing all members of the organization to filter or discriminate between opportunities, to allocate resources strategically and to speak a common language. It provides:
- FOCUS:A clear statement of strategy that is concrete and can provide guidance to decision makers
- CONGRUENCE: A common way to tie together leadership, key players and staff directions; and will
- ENABLE A STRATEGIC RESPONSE TO CHANGE: Plans need to enable the organization to respond strategically to change yet allow for stability in the core
Once a true strategy is created, the C-Suite must critically confront their cultural reality and assess its readiness to execute the plan. Through this process the levers for culture change can be identified (structure, systems, technologies, skills) and actions taken to move to a more performance based culture.
As Michael Porter states, strategy is the glue that holds together the many systems and initiatives within any organization. Without it, consistency of action, commitment to the organizational vision and an innovative and flexible approach to a constantly changing external environment is not possible.
Is your executive team and your organization ready for the shift?