Leading Through Connections
This is a brief summary of an IBM Global CEO study (1700 CEO’s across 18 industries and 64 countries). Go to ibm.com/ceostudy2012 for the full study.. it is GREAT!!!
“This is now a continuous feedback kind of world, and we need the organizational nimbleness to respond.” (CEO, Financial Markets, United States)
For some time, businesses have been refining and optimizing their networks of suppliers and partners. They’re streamlining supply chains and creating massive back-office efficiencies. But something just as meaningful has been happening in the marketplace—the sudden convergence of the digital, social and mobile spheres—connecting customers, employees and partners in new ways to organizations and to each other. These changes put pressure on the front office to digitize and adapt but also create opportunities for the organization to innovate and lead.
“How do you unleash the innovative power of the people who deal with your customers every day?” (CEO, Insurance, United Kingdom)CEO’s are creating more open and collaborative cultures—encouraging employees to connect, learn from each other and thrive in a world of rapid change. The emphasis on openness is even higher among outperforming organizations—and they have the change-management capabilities to make it happen. As CEOs open up their organizations, they are not inviting chaos. The need for control remains, but it is evolving into a new form—one better suited to the complexity and pace of business today.
Of course we need better information and insight, but what we need most is the capability to act on it.” (Unit Head, Government, Hong Kong SAR)As a group, CEOs are investing more in customer insights than any other functional area—far above operations, competitive intelligence, financial analysis and even risk management. They are seeking a better understanding of individual customer needs and improved responsiveness. Although face-to-face will remain the most prevalent form of customer interaction, CEOs expect a step-change in the use of social media. Given the need for deep customer insight, outperformers have a distinct advantage. They are far more adept at converting data into insights, and insights into action.
In our industry, the biggest risk we face is not regulatory mandates, as many think. It’s industry disruption…” (CEO, Retail, United States)The pressure to innovate is not subsiding, and organizations are teaming to meet the challenge. Compared to their less successful peers, outperformers are partnering for innovation more aggressively. But they are also tackling more challenging and disruptive types of innovation. Instead of settling for
simply creating new products or implementing more efficient operations, they’re more likely to be moving into other industries or even inventing entirely new ones.
“We tend to see everyone as a competitor, but we need to see them as partners…this is a cultural shift; it’s hard to change.”(CEO, Banking, Vietnam)
With nearly 70 percent of CEOs aiming to partner extensively, what will make this a differentiating strategy?