Board strength falls off

And after three years of data showing boards becoming more pro-active in the management of the organisation, the numbers slipped back this year from 88 percent to 61 percent. 

The annual survey, which aims to reflect broad-based, senior management business sentiment, has been used to track strategic thinking since before the financial collapse of 2007.

Cornerstone International Group has over 100 member offices worldwide. 

The majority of this year’s respondents came from Europe (45 percent) followed by North America (36 percent), Latin America (36 percent) Asia/South Pacific (19 percent) and Africa, Middle East and India (12 percent). 

The survey also shows varying opinions about the state of affairs globally and locally. 

Only 36 percent of respondents currently believe that global economic recession is over. However, over 63 percent believe the recession is ended in their local market. 

Other findings from this year’s survey show:

  • Only 44 percent expect to increase the number of employees this year compared to 63 percent last year and 66 percent the year before. Headcount reductions are anticipated by 22 percent – 50 percent increase.
  • Talent development remains the preferred priority for increasing value. Recruitment, though, has fallen off sharply and is replaced in second place by succession management.
  • Despite the perennial focus on maximising talent, still only half of respondents have formal, company-wide performance measurement process in place.
  • Revenue growth expectations are lower. year ago, the largest group (36 percent) anticipated growth of 8-14 percent. This year’s majority (35 percent) predicts achieving less than 8 percent growth. 

“We need to remember that our survey is usually filled out by people who roll up their shirt sleeves when they sit down,” says Cornerstone International Group chairman William Guy. “It is always interesting to see how attitudes on the firing line differ from the top-level impressions we get from reading and watching the news.”

Copies of the 2012 Senior Management Opinion Survey can be downloaded from

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