‘The outbreak of the coronavirus is yet another example of how challenging it can be to lead an organization in today’s rapidly changing, global ecosystem’
Only 15 per cent of business executives worldwide have confidence in their company’s top leadership to successfully manage disruption, including unexpected events such as pandemics, technological advances, shifting demographics and climate change, found a new survey.
There’s a worldwide crisis of confidence in top business leaders that will force successful companies to “reinvent leadership” for the modern world, says the analysis from global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.
“The quality of leadership is critical to the success of companies, especially when they are faced with an unexpected external threat to their business,” says Eric Beaudan, global head, leadership practice, Odgers Berndtson. “The recent outbreak of the coronavirus is yet another example of how challenging it can be to lead an organization in today’s rapidly changing, global ecosystem.”
Eighty-eight per cent of senior managers and executives expect disruption to increase over the next five years, and almost as many (85 per cent) said it has already had an impact on their organizations.
With only 16 per cent of senior managers reporting that their company’s top leadership has managed disruption well to date, even fewer (15 per cent) are confident they will do well in the future, found the survey of almost 2,000 senior executives, managers and board members. The majority (61 per cent) are tentative but a quarter (24 per cent) are actively worried, with similar results across all global regions.
While 85 per cent of respondents believe the CEO has the most critical role to play, 40 per cent express doubts that the person in the top role will manage disruption well over the next five years.
CEOs are playing the most significant transformational role, according to another survey that pegged CHRO influence represented a mere three per cent.
“Just because leaders have been successful in the past, and might be a good CEO, CFO, CIO or CHRO today, doesn’t mean they have the skillset, mindset or capabilities to help us confront future change and challenges,” says Beaudan. “Talent development is among the top priorities and responsibilities for the board and for senior executives. It’s not just an HR issue; it’s not just a CEO issue; it’s a business survival issue.”