The Conference Board CEO Challenge® 2012: Risky Business—Focusing on Innovation and Talent in a Volatile World
According to the 776 CEO respondents to the 2012 edition of The Conference CEO Challenge survey, the race to innovate, the war for talent, “black swans” and bad debts, and the hunt for new markets—all driven by an increasing drumbeat of regulation and oversight—define today’s global business environment. When this combination of risk, regulation, uncertainty, and complexity is mixed with the need for speed and an overwhelming flow of information and data (not all of it reliable), it makes for risky business and an intense set of unique leadership challenges for CEOs in every region of the world.
The five top challenges—Innovation, Human Capital, Global Political/Economic Risk, Government Regulation, and Global Expansion—show a balance between concerns related to the macro business environment (of which business leaders have limited or no control individually) and company-specific challenges that are driven by management action and require a well-executed business strategy.
Since 1999, The Conference Board CEO Challenge survey has asked CEOs, presidents, and chairmen from across the globe to identify their most critical challenges. This year’s survey features a somewhat revised set of 10 overall challenges and a more in-depth strategy section to better reflect today’s business environment. Follow-up interviews with CEOs across the globe enhanced our qualitative understanding of the issues.