BLI Leadership | Corporate Finance & Governance | Financial Planning | Leadership / Management

Top 4 concerns of CEOs worldwide

IStock_000001738948Large A recent survey from the Conference Board reports that CEOs chose "excellence in execution" as their top concern (among 94 choices). Their top four concerns:

  1. Excellence in execution.
  2. Speed, flexibility and adaptability to change.
  3. Global economic performance.
  4. Financial risk -- liquidity, volatility and credit risk.

Business confidence was also new to the top 10 list since the market meltdown last fall.

"The CEO mindset is focused and the atmosphere is intense," says Jonathan Spector, chief executive officer of the Conference Board. "Clearly, weakening economic conditions are a growing concern to CEOs worldwide, as they plan their business strategies and financial targets for the coming year."

Adds Spector: "Business leaders across the globe are focusing more urgently on execution and immediate bottom-line issues, and leaving the people management systems built up during the tight labor market of the past five years to operate how they are intended."

In our experience, execution is really about alignment -- the alignment of your strategic plan to your people and processes. People cannot execute what they do not understand.

Therefore, I recommend that you start with a clear strategic plan that shows linkages from the strategies throughout your entire organization. When your team has a "line of sight" to the strategy, you can almost guarantee execution (and performance).

I think what is missing from this list are transparency and good governance as requisite to earning back trust of big businesses and in our financial markets.

What is your top concern or focus to beat this downturn?