Challenge or be challenged

Leaders across the globe weigh in on today’s demanding, fast-paced and unfriendly business environment: the challenges posed by innovation, disruption, fickle consumers, corporate culture and more.

A recent Forbes Insights survey of CEOs, COOs, presidents and managing directors explores how the shifting business environment requires a change in the way leaders think and act — and why those who do not reframe their mindset to fit the times will be left behind.

Key findings

Innovation
Faced with a competitive environment, demanding consumers, fluctuating customer needs and the acceleration of competitive threats, innovation is the key to achieving market share.

Technology
Technology is increasingly becoming a multifaceted enabler in effecting change. Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents see tangible results from digitization in the area of market share increase and 66 per cent are experiencing tangible results from digitization in the area of product innovation.

Disruption via disintermediation
Companies are rethinking their corporate structures by eliminating intermediaries and sizing up smaller competitors. Seventy percent of global leaders say they are concerned as to whether their company will still be relevant and competitive in two years. More than half of respondents (51 per cent) report that disintermediation is having the biggest impact on their business.

The next-generation customer
Technically savvy and well-informed, today’s consumers demand consistent and 24/7 service across multiple channels. Sixty-two per cent of business leaders say the concept of loyalty is almost or fully obsolete — a perspective that’s particularly present in large enterprises.

Culture counts
Seventy percent of leaders cite the importance of having a unified culture to achieving business goals. Nearly 60 per cent of CEOs report that their culture is changing due to the millennial generation.