TEC’s CEO Report on Opportunities Over Next 5 Years

The Executive Connection (TEC – a networking organisation for CEOs) recently produced the result of their research with 700 CEOs from Australian and NZ. They produced the findings that the top four ways that CEOs agreed would unlock potential new business opportunities over the next five years to 2020 are:

  1. Disruption
  2. Leadership
  3. China
  4. Selling

These drivers of growth have always been important. Let’s revisit:

  1. Innovation

In large part because of the speed of advancements in technology and software, and the transition to mass market usage through apps and online access, industries are being disrupted by new technologies. New business models are emerging that are disrupting traditional models.

CEOs need to be aware of competitors, innovation in other industries and markets that could be applied to their company, and trends through new technology. If CEOs fail to monitor this, the outcome is disruption. If they’re on top of it and applying these new models and technologies in their own business, they are being innovative.

  1. Leadership

When did this become a new requirement for the next five years? Private companies without accountability to Boards and shareholders and other owners can be less accountable for their leadership style, but if they fail to lead, or are poor leaders, their company will suffer as people leave to work with better leaders.

Surely it isn’t just the ‘enlightened’ CEOs who know that the reason we employ people with different areas of expertise and experience, to be responsible for specific aspects of the business, is because we need their help to grow our businesses?

  1. China

The perspective here is on opportunities to export to China, as opposed to taking advantage of low cost production for better margins.

I was told today of one company – in the business of building a single brand – that had increased production of their product from 20,000 units a couple of years ago, to 7 million units this year. They ‘cracked’ the China market and are now exporting their product to a market hungry for their brand. Nice numbers!

  1. Selling

Is this a new opportunity? Fortunately many businesses are now aware that customer value, customer growth, retention, satisfaction and loyalty are precipitated on their experience as your customer. Certainly retailers are onto this and have been for some time. Other sectors of the market are just starting to hear about this concept of customer experience.

Customer research, feedback, analysis and two way communication around key topics are all essential to creating and improving the experience your customers have when buying your products and services. If you don’t have a strategy for engaging with and continuing to grow with your customers then you need to start working on one today.

In fairness, I have taken these four points out of the context of their full report, but if any of the points are news to you as the CEO, your business may be facing some kind of disruptive challenges some time soon….