A new study by global consultancy McKinsey & Company points to the most urgent issues on the top management agenda around the globe. The list is based on hundreds of interviews conducted with CEOs since 2021. The researchers compiled what they heard about how companies can do better for society, communities, and employees.
According to the report, leaders’ agendas continue to be impacted by the aftermath of the global pandemic, breakdowns in supply chains, wars and persistent inflation. This year, the unfolding of the Russia-Ukraine, and Israel-Palestine conflicts and difficulties in the Red Sea trade routes, as well as climate issues, are expected to influence business around the world.
In this vein, according to the study, the CEO priorities this year will be:
- Gen AI: The start of something big
Innovators dominate headlines. Scalers dominate markets.
- Outcompeting with technology
As the digital era enters middle age, most companies have at least started a digital and AI transformation. But few are getting the results they want; that’s usually because they haven’t done the fundamental organizational rewiring needed to extract maximum value from the hard work of digitizing the enterprise.
- The energy transition: time is short
Commitments are abundant; actions, not so much. Leaders can make the next moves.
Companies can build an institutional capability to achieve competitive advantage.
- Learn to love your middle managers
Stop thinking of middle management as a way station. Instead, make it a destination.
- Geopolitics: beating the odds
A new world order might be emerging from the current upheaval. Leaders can anticipate some shifts and position their companies for success.
- Navigating the road to courageous growth
Business development is always the number one task for CEOs, but the way to get there is never quite clear. Sometimes it’s just about gaining market share, expanding to other countries or betting on something completely new.
- A new lens on the macroeconomy
Hard landing, soft landing, no landing at all? While analysts debate, smart leaders are moving on to consider the bigger picture.
“CEOs need a broad range of contradictory perspectives: outside in and inside out, a telescope to see the world and a microscope to break it down, a snapshot view of the immediate issues and a time lapse series to see into the future,” said the authors.