CEO Challenge Reflections: Talent Matters

The CEO Challenge Reflections series is intended to provoke thought and take a deeper dive into “the issues behind the issues.”

Since 1999, The Conference Board CEO Challenge® survey has asked CEOs, presidents, and chairmen across the globe to identify their most critical challenges. According to the 704 top executives who responded to the 2011 survey, it’s all about reorienting their organizations toward growth.

Talent has again emerged—not only among the top challenges for CEOs, but also as a key factor in meeting the other top business challenges cited by CEOs around the globe: Business Growth, Cost Optimization, and Innovation. But the criticality of talent is not news to human capital professionals who already know the difficulties of retaining top performers, raising engagement levels, developing leaders, and finding skilled talent in far-flung labor markets.

During presentations about the talent implications of the CEO Challenge survey in more than a dozen major cities around the world, human capital professionals were asked to rank their top challenges, as well as the top strategies for addressing the Talent challenge. A comparison of their responses to those of CEO respondents reveals striking similarities and differences.

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